Who Is Your Website Designed For?
By now, most people understand that good content is essential when it comes to the effectiveness of their business’s website. When writing and designing specifically for the web, however, “good” takes on a whole new meaning.
Being able to successfully convey your brand’s mission and its overall value to your customers is, generally speaking, good. In that specific sense, I think you’ll find that most companies have a lot of “good” information on their websites.
But when you’re creating and structuring content for a website, deeper considerations are required, considerations that must take into account search engines, the user experience, and the user’s overall needs as a consumer.
It is in respect of these needs that a lot of websites begin to falter. Either they don’t take search engines into consideration in their design, they offer solutions to the consumer’s needs, or the journey throughout the website itself is muddled and confusing. And none of that is good.
Don’t Write for Search Engines. Write for the People Who Use Search Engines.
Though the approach is antiquated and highly ineffective, there are still many sites out there that practice keyword stuffing in their websites content in order to rank higher in search.
Keyword stuffing, the repeated use of words or phrases in order to improve SEO, penalizes your site in two ways:
One, keyword-stuffed pages are completely ignored by search engines like Google precisely because they are stuffed. Google is looking for high-quality content, and its algorithm has evolved over the years to identify stuffing and then ignore it. Your site, and therefore your business, is invisible.
Fresh, relevant, and useful content will always rise above a stuffed site.
Secondly, what you’ve created is completely useless to your customer base. People want content that is relevant to their needs. That’s what they’re searching for in the first place. They want to know that they are getting the best, whether that means it’s the best quality, the best value, the best price — whatever best means in that context.
That’s why techniques like keyword stuffing and those like them are so ineffective. The thoughts given to them are for search engines instead of for the people who use search engines.
Content should be a combination of keyword research and brand expertise — this is where your business’s most unique attributes can shine. Highly niche content that speaks to your audience’s most general and longtail-oriented needs is one of the most powerful marketing tools your business has at its disposal.
But that really doesn’t matter how engaging your content is if the person can’t find any of it on the page.
Good Information On Your Site Isn’t Enough — It Needs To Be Easy To Find.
Okay, so effectively writing engaging content definitely matters, but how you’re structuring it for your audience is also essential.
Website organization plays a critical role in what people see first. If what they see first is relevant to their needs, then they’ll likely stay on the site longer. If they stay on the site longer, then they’re more likely to engage in some sort of conversion (fill out a form, click to call, chat, or place an item in a cart). After all, conversion is the goal, right?
Here’s what can often be difficult for many businesses when it comes to creating a strong content hierarchy: Absolutely everything matters.
Now, when it comes to how your business operates, everything and everyone really does matter, but when we’re talking about driving a conversion through your website, not everything matters. In fact, the only thing that matters is that you’re speaking to your customer’s needs and that they always know what to do next without having to think about it.
A strong content structure, one that pays special attention to the details of your body copy, pages titles, and H2 headings will help you more effectively do two things:
Search engines will be able to easily understand what your content is about, and your audience will be able to easily scan your page to see that your site is what they’re looking for.
Prioritize the content that is most relevant to your audience, and present it in a way that speaks to your customers clearly and inspiringly.
This approach isn’t just my preference. It’s not theoretical. This is precisely how the Formada team builds better websites for our clients. Here’s a case study describing this approach.
Case Study: How A Website Refresh Increased Conversions By Focusing On Search-Driven Content And User Experience
Last year, one of our long-standing partners (a Vancouver-based high-end landscaping company) approached us about refreshing their website.
Their goal was to give the site a facelift without completely reinventing it. They loved a lot about its content, design, and representation of their brand, but it wasn’t reaching their conversion goals.
After auditing the site, it was determined that there were opportunities we could take in order to improve the overall user experience.
One opportunity for improvement was related to the navigation menu, which in its current state at the time was confusing and hindering visitors from landing on their services pages.
Another opportunity was related to the services pages themselves. Their hierarchy could be improved by structuring the content in a manner that better suited customer needs as well as refining the content itself so that users had an easier time finding what they were looking for quickly.
After proposing these changes to the client, our team:
- Made critical changes to the services section of the site, including
- Adding more specific keywords
- Regrouping and/or consolidating services together so the most important pages were easier to find
- Reordering the presentation of services based on traffic
- Ensuring consistency of services throughout the site
- Created a Portfolio page organized by new services categories
- Added their process description to the home page and service pages because some of the clients don’t know what goes into it just from looking at the service
- Reorganized site navigation to accommodate all the changes to services
The website changes had a clear increase in organic traffic after the new website changes were pushed. Monthly organic search traffic essentially doubled after the website refresh, indicating that the refined content and structure were catching the browser’s attention and giving user’s the information that they were looking for.
1. Having an organized, keyword-considered page will help browser’s positively evaluate your website and improve your online visibility
2. Having an organized, keyword-considered page will help people find your brand and lead to better user experiences
When was the last time you gave your website’s content this level of consideration? Our goal with our clients is to set short and long-term goals for your website’s performance, so that careful, continuous refinement can support ongoing, sustainable growth.
If you’re interested in learning more about our website and content services, contact us — we’d love to learn more about your needs!