When I participate in design-oriented discussions on LinkedIn, it kind of worries me that one of the most popular topics are arguments about what is the latest and greatest trend in website design, code, layout, and other visual aspects. Yes, these things are all very important, but I fear that the most crucial aspect of effective website design is commonly being overlooked by both service providers and small business owners.
You can have the nicest website design built with the most modern framework, but if your blog content is yawn-inspiring or didn't even show up for class, you might as well be opening up a fancy new store in the middle of nowhere. Now, I'm not saying that the design isn't important for an effective website. What I'm saying is that your primary focus needs to be on content, framed in great design, so that visitors convert and search engines warm up to you.
See also: Your Website Design Shouldn't Suck
Content Is King
When I say content is king, what I mean is that it is the absolutely most important, crucial piece of your search engine optimization strategy. More than that, it's vital for helping push visitors through your website, funneling them towards conversion. You can have the sleekest, most modern website design with cutting edge, top-of-the-line graphics and pristine code, but for the most part, Google doesn't care how pretty your site is. And neither does Bing. Or Yahoo. They care more that you have regular, relevant, and fresh content to offer visitors.
Without blog content, search algorithms will have a hard time relating your website to someone's inquiry. And without well-written on-page content and calls-to-action, the visitors simply won't line up for conversion. But it even goes beyond SEO and CTAs. Your content does more than push people towards the end of the conversion funnel. It does more than help search engines find your site. In the end, your copy is the mouthpiece of your brand and your culture.
Make An Impact
When people visit your website, most of their interaction is based around the content you provide them. How it's written, and where it's placed in relation to the overall design, has a huge impact on how they will perceive your brand. So yes, website design does influence your brand, but more than anything, it needs to fit with well-written content. It's a mistake to primarily focus on design, without thinking about content.
So when you're working on your website next, remember where your focus should be. Don't worry about having a killer graphic for your homepage every month as much as you do about having regular, relevant, and fresh content for your blog. Your content is what makes your website unique, so make sure it always takes precedence.
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