Before You Design Your Website, Tell Your Story

0
3 months ago
close up of typewriter vintage retro styled

Before delving into design, it’s essential that you take a long, hard look at your content strategy. Whether you have an existing website or you chose to build a new one, you need to evaluate your content to make sure it connects with your chosen audience.

Connection is key, and without it, you will have a hard time selling your value propositions.

If you haven’t yet decided on your audience or value propositions, I highly suggest that you read our articles on customer personas and value propositions.

Content vs. Design

A website without content is basically just a layout with color. The content is what gives the website meaning. It involves messaging, most importantly, but also adds an element of branding, which helps the messaging to remain in the mind long after consuming it.

Design and content should complement each other, so rather than thinking about which is more important or comes first, think about the two as essential partners striving towards the same goal. Yin and Yang, if you will.

The goal of content is two-fold:

  • Change the way your customers feel about your product, service or business
  • Help customers understand the unique value you provide

So what it means to create superior content is to use copy and media to accomplish these goals. It doesn’t matter whether you are writing the content for a landing page or for a full-blown website with multiple calls to action.

How to Write Superior Content

Superior content starts with telling the customer why they should buy from you.

So before you start writing, get a handle on the following questions:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What is their emotional pain?
  • How are you uniquely resolving this pain?

Read up on getting a better handle on uncovering the unique selling proposition of your business here (link to CVP article).

Above the Fold

You have only a few seconds to make a good first impression. All of the most important information should be visible before scrolling the page.

Tagline

Your tagline should include your value proposition and keywords.

Here is where you hone in on your customer’s need and how you can solve it for them. If you do this in just the right way, you will see much higher rates of conversion when you drive traffic through an ad (preferably with the same value propositions).

Offer

If your website is focused on conversions, you should have an offer that will not disappoint. This is especially important for landing pages that will be used in digital ad campaigns.

Once you have identified your customers and validated your solution, it’s time to develop an offer that can trigger your visitors to take the first action on your site.

Depending on what your customers want, your offer should meet that need. Do they want exclusive cost savings? Information? Access to additional content?

Your offer should drive the customer to give you their email in exchange for this item of value. That way, you can be sure that you can reach out to your most valuable base again and again.

Call to Action

If you are able to lower your customers’ barriers of trust enough, they will be willing to give you their information, but only if you give them a compelling reason.

Just like a sale that ends in 45 minutes, the best CTAs have a layer of urgency to them. This could include limited supply, or limited time offers.

Even if you don’t have an offer, writing a CTA that explains why the customer should connect with you or subscribe for updates.

Images

While it’s not important to have a fancy banner, showcasing images of your product or you (in the case where you and your bran dare one and the same) can help you build trust with your audience. Depending on your industry, images may or may not be critical for you.

Below the Fold

Since you have been upfront with the CVP and CTA, a visitor who scrolls your page is looking for more information. Here is a list of some of the questions a visitor may be trying to answer before they will proceed to take action on your pages:

Who Are You?

A customer who has scrolled your page even slightly is much more likely to give you their business. But they are also looking for more information. Here is where you give them additional nibbles of, such as your “Why” statement, and giving them reasons to trust you.

What added value do you provide?

Do you offer free shipping? Are your products hand-made or all-natural? Are you reliable and friendly? Do you donate a portion of your proceeds to charity?

In addition to the main customer value proposition, you may have additional propositions that will give the client additional reasons to choose your products or services, if they are on the fence.

Why Should They Believe You?

As creatures of bias, customers want to know whether there is consensus about the claims on your pages. This is where testimonials, reviews, and awards can come into play, giving  you additional credibility.

Social proof is a huge part of validation, particularly for small businesses. Why should a customer look at you when there are so many other well-known brands?

There are a few types of social proof that you can use to bolster your credibility:

  • Publications
  • Awards and certifications
  • Celebrity reviews
  • 3rd party reviews
  • Video testimonials
  • Text testimonials

The type of social proof you provide depends on your customer and what matters most to them.

The Importance of Keywords

This wouldn’t be a complete article on the value of writing great web content without mentioning keywords. Keywords help Google understand which search queries should turn up your web page as a result. It’s useful to decide which keywords you would like to target, and sprinkle them sparingly into your content: particularly in the URL slugs, page titles, meta-descriptions and headlines.

If you have an idea what your customers search for, you can start to list headlines that you like and search for other versions using a tool like SEMRush, or Google Keyword Planner (requires a Google Ads account).

When designing a website, do your homework by researching your customers and what they need, then take the necessary steps to carefully craft the content that will help you make the sale.

Interested in designing a website? We have resources that can help with that, too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *