Whether you’re about to launch your company’s first website or are working as a professional web designer, outsourcing your design services to would-be clients, it goes without saying that content and web design should go hand-in-hand. According to 99 Firms, 75% of users judge a website’s credibility based on aesthetics alone, with 38% of visitors leaving the website if its content is presented in an unappealing manner. On the other hand, Smart Insights reports that 67% of marketers rely on SEO as a means to generate relevant traffic, with customer’s journey optimization being a top priority for 35% of marketing executives.
These numbers indicate a clear necessity for both web design and the website’s content strategy to work as one in order for a business’ content to go viral on the web and attract a sizable audience. However, finding the best way to combine your web design solution with subsequently published content can be tricky without the proper know-how – which is what we are here to explore in greater detail.
The Advantages of Cohesive Content Strategy and Web Design
Let’s start off small and discuss what makes conscious web design decisions and content strategy planning so crucial for success on the web. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) remains one of the pillars of content optimization and a de facto determining factor in whether or not your links will rank well in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
From technical optimization ranging from keyword selection and density to multimedia optimization and link building, SEO involves a plethora of activities which add up to your site’s credibility and potential for lead generation. Combined with writing tools such as Top Essay Writing and Evernote, you can take full advantage of reinventing your website’s navigation, calls to action, link placement, as well as the published content thereafter. In doing so, several important benefits will manifest within your website going forward, including the following:
- Better internal content production and design alignment
- Easier and quicker content planning and publishing
- Clearer website navigation and content access for visitors
- Higher industry authority and brand awareness across different channels
- Optimized resource allocation which leads to higher ROI
How Content Strategy and Web Design Work Together
One of the most essential elements of any website’s design lies in its navigation. Whether your site is focused on eCommerce or blog content, the visitor should have a clear idea of how to navigate its pages and categories from the landing page. On the example of Book Depository, we can spot an emphasis on eCommerce services and a straightforward way in which different product pages can be reached without diving into multi-page navigation.
This approach will create a sense of cohesion and allow for seamless navigation to take place regardless of whether it’s a recurring of first-time visitor. Tools such as Classy Essay and Grammarly can also be utilized to write concise, informative titles for your header/footer and other navigation elements present on the website.
Make Use of White Space
Depending on who you ask, white space can be seen as an advantage (web designers) or a disadvantage (website owners). The different opinions can often be attributed to either wanting to fill each page with as much information as possible, or wanting to emphasize important elements via white space respectively.
The example of Harvard Art Museums indicates that white space can indeed help content “pop” and attract the visitors’ eyes more often than not. Make sure that your website features plenty of pixel-space between different interactive elements to allow the site to “breathe” and not overwhelm the visitor with excessive information, especially on the landing page. This will facilitate comfortable navigation and ensure that each content piece, be it a blog post or multimedia, stands out far more than before.
Fast & Lightweight Load Times
As we’ve discussed SEO in some detail before, it’s worth noting that load times and bandwidth requirements of your website play a huge role in its search engine ranking. In order to accommodate for different regions and internet speeds, your site should be as lightweight as possible – as can be seen in the case of Medium.
Jessica Simons, Head of SEO Department at Studyker had this to say on the matter: “No two devices will share the same experience and load times when confronted with your website. This makes it essential for your web design solution to be accessible in terms of bandwidth data requirements and CPU strain to ensure positive SEO ranking.”
Multilingual SEO Optimization
In order to facilitate better accessibility on your website content-wise, you should consider translation and multilingual SEO for your published content. Users from across the world are bound to look for websites which can provide them with localized content which can be beneficial for your conversion rates in the future.
Given its global popularity, Amazon is a great example of how multilingual SEO and localized content can lead to much better traffic and subsequent sales as a result of user-centric optimization. Tools such as Google AdWords and SEM Rush, in addition to WriteScout, Subjecto and Hemingway Editor, can be used in tandem to provide your writers and designers with the means to include multilingual SEO optimization into your website’s content strategy.
Experiment with Typography
Typographic elements such as navigation bar content are there to be your tools in mapping out an enjoyable UX – not as a means to restrict your creativity. The example of Cambridge International School showcases a great emphasis on the interplay between macroscopic typography for titles and social proof while reserving microscopic lettering for navigation elements.
As such, you should play with typographic compositions present on your website and create a balance of miniscule and macro typography for your visitors’ enjoyment. Platforms such as Google Fonts are specifically designed to allow access to a plethora of fonts for web design purposes, selected based on their flexibility and ability to accommodate for different alphabets and phonetic structures.
Scheduled Website Audits
Lastly, in order to take full advantage of both your content strategy and web design, scheduled audits should become a norm. Website audits will allow you to detect broken links, poor keyword optimization and general errors within your website in a timely manner, allowing for better SEO and ranking as a result.
Website audits can be done either manually or through tools such as SEO Site Checkup which will scan your site and present you with a detailed breakdown of its current state. Don’t neglect your site’s maintenance even if it performs well at the moment – be proactive rather than reactive and its place on global SERP will remain positive.
Constant Vigilance (Conclusion)
Creating a cohesive experience between your web design and content strategy is an ongoing project, one which will take months to perfect according to your audience’s expectations. Your competition can also serve as a point of inspiration and showcase what you should and shouldn’t do with your own presence on the web, making research into their websites a welcome addition. Look for innovative ways to bridge the gap between creative design solutions and valuable content and your site’s place on global search engines will reflect those efforts.
Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-using-macbook-pro-on-white-table-3740713/