Launching a new Content Empire website was a key internal project for our business this year. While recommendations from past and current clients drive a lot of new business, the website is our most important marketing tool for demonstrating our content and communications expertise.
For our clients, we recommend a website review every two years, even if it’s just an update. Rapidly advancing technology and changing audience behaviours make it essential to be vigilant. You could start by analysing your competitors’ websites – this will quickly tell you whether your own online ‘shopfront’ is keeping up with industry benchmarks.
If you’re considering building a new website or even updating your existing site, here are the top 6 elements to get right.
User experience (UX)
Giving your current and prospective customers (or website users) a positive experience on your website is fundamental. From easy navigation to concise text and mobile friendly design, there’s a lot to consider. Start by thinking about your customers as audience groups. Who are they and what do you want them to do on your website? Can they easily find the information they need? Have you organised your content into clear categories that align with their needs?
Invest some time in mapping user journeys through your site. Think about how you will lead each audience group from the home page to the point of purchase, or to the point where they contact you. If you have a number of audience groups, make sure you give them clear entry points (such as dedicated tiles and headlines) so they don’t get lost looking at irrelevant content.
Content Empire often partners with Clever Fox Creative to product client websites; we value the team’s UX design expertise, so of course called on them to build our custom website.
Choose the right platform
Your choice of Content Management System (CMS) is very important. Think carefully about what your business needs. If you need an e-Commerce site, your needs may be different to a service-based business (such as Content Empire). We chose WordPress for our new website because it is an open source platform with easy-to-use editing tools. It integrates with so many other widgets and technologies, which helps to futureproof your website.
For smaller businesses who want to manage their own website, Squarespace or Wix may be the right choice, as these website builders require less technical know-how than more advanced website platforms.
Video content, photography and icons
According to Hubspot, 90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual. With more audiences scrolling information on their phone and attention spans decreasing by the minute, websites need to work harder than ever to maintain interest. Video content, engaging photos and helpful icons can all do the heavy lifting to attract eyeballs and convey key messages quickly!
We recommend investing in one or two videos for your website. Like Content Empire, you might choose a short video on loop for your home page welcome banner: something simple that evokes your business proposition and personality and leads users into your site. Or, further down your home page (or on your About page), you could use a longer video to introduce your people and products in an authentic, engaging way.
SEO and website content writing
While visual content is critical, words can be equally powerful. Written content plays a huge role in your ranking on search engines such as Google. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps you draw traffic to your website and introduce your brand to new audiences. Think about what key words your potential customers might use when they are searching for the products and services you offer. Then build those key words authentically into your content, especially your headings and image captions.
Search engine algorithms also reward clear, easy to read content. Posting regular blog content that your audience cares about is another way to increase your SEO ranking.
It’s a win-win – because when customers do land on your website, great audience-focused writing will encourage them to stay longer and learn about your business.
Case studies and customer testimonials
Your prospective clients and customers will want proof that your services and products are as good as you say they are. Your website is the ideal place to show them. Case studies, client testimonials, customer photos and ‘real life’ stories will all build confidence in your brand.
Calls to action
What do you want website users do as a result of visiting your website? This will define the calls to action (CTAs) you feature throughout your website. For Content Empire, we want people to call or email us to discuss their content and communication needs. That’s why our key CTA ‘Let’s talk’ appears on every page of our website, linking users to our contact form and phone numbers. For e-commerce sites, a key CTA might be ‘Buy now’. We recommend developing a core set of two to three CTAs and presenting them in a consistent style throughout your website.
Finally…before you dive in, it is also worth reviewing your business proposition, branding and key messaging to make sure your website efforts achieve your goals. Content Empire’s new website followed a strategic business ‘deep dive’ and branding refresh, an exercise we highly recommend to fellow business owners and organisation leaders.
If you would like advice on the best approach to optimise your website, Content Empire is here to help. As we say in our favourite call to action, let’s talk.