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5 Reasons Why Content Goes Hand-In-Hand With Web Design

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Building a brand new website for your company? Or maybe you’re having one built for you.

Chances are, you’ve got concepts flying back and forth, you’re wading through wireframes and getting glimpses of what your website will look like once you go live.

It’s essential to get the look and feel of a site spot on. That goes without saying, but does the focus on design risk you going live without saying anything?

Let’s face it: you’re busy. No, you are. That’s why you’re sneaking a read of this blog, right? To put off that huge thing you just have to get done by tomorrow? It’s ok. We won’t tell…

If our web team’s experience is anything to go by, website content is the last tetromino (or Tetris block, for those who spent their childhood more productively…) that completes a line when it comes to website design. And, just like in Tetris, the right piece can sometimes take ages to arrive.

web-copy-tetris.jpgThe Tetris theme is stuck in your head now, right?

When great web copy is written alongside the website build process, it can lead to wonderful webby things. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why content is so important in web design.

Who are you and why should your audience buy from you?

The old business adage of “people will buy from people they like” is partly true. People will also buy from people who sell their product way cheaper than anyone else. What you need to do is tell your audience why they should do business with you. Content is king when it comes to doing that, no matter what approach you take:

  • Blogs showing off your expertise? Go for it!
  • Something a bit more candid, giving a glimpse into the everyday goings on in your world? People love a snoop.
  • A bold call to action and nothing more? That works too.

Content lets you tell the whole world wide web about yourself in your own words. Don’t hash something together that you wrote as part of your initial business plan. Make it reach out to people. Make it relevant. Make it ‘you’.

Measure first, build second

Website copy should have an influence on the design of a page. Not to get caught up in cliché, but the ‘square-pegs-round-holes’ argument comes in handy here. Cramming copy into cages in which they don’t belong will disrupt the user experience of your website. Not good. If your audience can’t find what you’re looking for on your website, they’ll find it on someone else’s.

This is a two-way street, though. Writing web copy during the web design phase allows designers and developers to do away with placeholder text (ah, Lorem ipsum) and put real content in situ. This means if something looks 4 paragraphs too long on screen, it can be trimmed and made to fit before you go live.

It all makes for an effective build process and an easier life.

We are number one

SEO. Search Engine Optimisation. A fine art to get right, but it can be the difference between being top dog or dog’s dinner. Getting your web copy sorted sooner helps you identify keywords that will enable you to scale search engine rankings.

web-copy-dog.jpgAbove: a good boy, yesterday.

Descriptions and keywords allow search engines to categorise your website. If these are in sync with high quality content that engages your audience, it’ll increase your chances of ranking higher.

These things take some effort to get right though. Remember to regularly review keywords to ensure they remain relevant to your services. Feel free to give us a shout if you’d like a hand – we know some good SEO folks who will be happy to help.

Get to go live sooner

Trust us on this one. In our experience, website content is the biggest roadblock on the journey to go live. Our developers can be busy coding away, but it reaches a point where their job is 99% done and the content needs to go in and then… screeeeeeech.

Stop.

Hit F9 in Outlook.

All in vain. That copy isn’t showing up today.

Or tomorrow.

Or the day after that…

To be fair, most clients know what content they want to include on their website. The biggest issue is time. They’re busy doing the stuff that makes them awesome, which may not be copywriting. The problem is that our developers can’t hit ‘Go Live’ with a load of Lorem ipsum in place.

Getting your copy in place alongside the build means it can be dropped straight in and our team can keep heading towards go live. To help, we’ve brought in someone to help clients with copy to let us deliver their website sooner. They run on water too… very clean energy.

Tone of voice

Pictures may paint a thousand words, but you will need to speak to your audience at some point.

When you do, you’ll need to speak to them in the way that they expect. You can decide how that will be, but the key thing is staying consistent. If your emails are slick and corporate but your website is light-hearted and off-beat, you may end up confusing your audience.

Tone of voice guidelines should sit alongside your brand identity guidelines on your brand’s bookshelf, but your website can form a good platform for your brand voice. It’s public-facing and easily accessible by your team, giving all audiences (internal and external) a clear idea of how your voice should sound.

Want to see how to do it well? Check out MailChimp. They have an entire website dedicated to tone of voice.

Got that?

Good. Web design is exciting stuff, especially the visual side of things, but web copy is a key cog in the whirring machine that is your website.

If you are pressed for time (trust us, we know!), then give us a call.

What are the biggest barriers you have found when writing web copy? Let us know!