Content comes before the pretty part, including images.
“The most beautifully decorated cake means nothing if when you bite into it you wince with disappointment.”
One of the most difficult things I have to do with clients is to hold them back from focusing on the “pretty” part of their website before the content is developed. The design is LED by the content and focus, otherwise you are simply cramming your content into a pretty, fancy, contemporary, WOW design that has NOTHING to do with your actual path to the sale.
Create your base cake that is rich in flavor and leaves them wanting more!
Please think from a prospect’s perspective, not from what you like. We all get bored with our own websites and get excited at the chance to redesign, rearrange, add new features, images and colors. STOP! It really has to come AFTER your main content. This includes the most basic of landing pages:
HOME – what is the first thing you want people to know about your company or product? If you have 3 seconds to tell them everything, do it HERE. You actually have less than that to make them stay and learn more – so make it COUNT, don’t leave them guessing what you do or your mission.
ABOUT – This is to build your STORY and tell them what your company’s mission is, your beliefs, goals and how your company was created and by whom.
CONTACT – EVERY way to contact you – email, phone, directions, hours, form, staff directory or link to one.
SERVICES – keep it simple, no cutesy names – we are new to your site, we don’t know your humor, lingo – we just want to know what you do and possibly how to sign up for demo, costs and perhaps a link to testimonials of happy customers.
BLOG/ARTICLES/NEWS – this is where we learn from you and your muy big brain. This can be built after, but having 2-3 to start a new site is a good idea.
This should also be your top nav and available on EVERY page. If you are brick and mortar, include your hours and link to map/directions in the footer of EVERY PAGE. Don’t make us hunt for you.
Now it’s time for the fondant, icing and other decorations:
Once you have all of this written – you can edit later. Then you have the tone and focus. What if you are an artist? You’ll want your upcoming shows, list of galleries, your process, bio, etc. If you have a product, you’ll want a way to sign up for demos and what that request process looks like.
Leave it all simple, clean without images. Sit with it, review it, then go back and find images for accents to carry through the message of that page and your branding.
*Cake deliciously baked and decorated by Heidi Szekeley.