Effective Websites Start with the Two 'Foundation Cornerstones'
Effective website planning involves contemporary, crisp graphic design and attractive, congruent images. But it's not quite as simple as that.
These are important elements certainly, but too many potentially excellent websites fall pitifully short on both the quality and quantity of content that would cause them to become glowing towers in cyberspace. In other words, to become truly effective websites.
If you’re in the planning stages of a new website, or a makeover of your existing website, carefully placing its cornerstones
will enable you to build a
colassal superstructure to that towers above its competitors.
These foundation 'cornerstones'
It all begins with your visitors (Audience)
It’s all about them. Until you have a clear picture of who and what they are — both demographically and psychographically (lifestyles, habits etc)— it's unwise to proceed much further. So many of the choices you need to make stem from the constructed profile of your typical customer. Most marketers know this intuitively, but not all websites are set up by marketers.
By thinking carefully about your intended audience, are you able to resolve the problems or challenges that brought them to your website in the first instance? What must you address if you are likely to ‘connect’ with their concerns and expectations?
Where do you expect them to come from and what search words or phrases are they likely to use? Some careful research is required here by your website editor - the prudent use of keywords and phrases
underlies many of these considerations. Search engine writing is a vital component of good web content.
What do you want to achieve? (Purpose)
Secondly, think carefully about your online objectives (Purpose). Whether you want to sell widgets to consumers or provide stellar customer service information with online distributor ordering, the objective of your website
will determine its information design from ‘top to bottom’. It must align with your overall business plan and marketing objectives.
Your website objective will impact heavily on:
The Home or Landing page headings, keywords and copy
Calls to action
Use of images
Methods of payment
Putting it all together
Planning website content is a job not just for a writer or copywriter. Certainly the copy must be powerful and persuasive, but there is much more to content design than copy.
For web content to work effectively (i.e. achieve the site’s objective) there is a myriad of factors to bring into harmony: easy accessibility, a powerful Value Proposition, congruent design elements, superb document design and compelling keyword-rich
These all combine to form the rhetoric or persuasiveness of the website; in other words, its total effectiveness.
All the essentials of good information design must fuse to create a powerful online tool. foundation cornerstones of your new or made-over website.
With those properly embedded, your website will be sitting on rock-solid foundations that no competitor can shift!