5 reasons why you should consider a content-first web design

When you are considering a redesign or redevelopment of your website, understandably the first thing that you’re going to think about is how it’s going to look.

While the layout, visual style and functionality of a website are extremely important, the content that sits on the pages can often be an afterthought.

Yes, having a great-looking website that’s based on best-practice user-experience design principles can only be a good thing.

But it’s the content on the pages that will educate visitors about what your business does and how the service or product that you offer can benefit the person that uses or buys it.

Trying to crowbar relevant website content into pages that have already been designed can cause an awful lot of headaches in the late stages of a web design project.

Here are five reasons why we’d always suggest a content-first approach when it comes to designing and developing a new website.

1.     Design can define content and vice versa

It’s worth noting from the outset that we are not suggesting that the design and build of a website shouldn’t begin before all of the content has been written.

A whole new set of problems will arise if you take that approach.

Instead, make sure that content supports and influences each stage of development. It should factor into the briefing process, inspire the wireframes that are created and help to steer any design decisions that are made.

Knowing the basic structure and context of the copy that will sit on a page can actually help to deliver a more effective website design.

2.     Save time and money

If you design and build templates based solely on functionality and layout without any real content to base it on, you’ll only end up wasting time and budget.

The earlier you start working on content, the less likely you are to face delays and amends further down the line.

You’ll also avoid filling space with content that’s not fit for purpose (or even worse, using dummy text). This will only result in a last-minute rush to write content that simply 'fills a gap'.

3.     Create efficient, targeted pages

Taking the time to understand your clients’ needs will result in efficient, effective, targeted content.

If this is a redesign of an existing site, it’s the perfect opportunity to implement an audit of your current content. Use any analytics tools that relate to your website and see what content is working and what can be improved.

You can now replace outdated irrelevant articles and pages with up-to-date knowledgeable content.

Make sure that all content supports a user need and/or business goal. Think about it in terms of:

  • Goals
  • Target audience
  • Format
  • Structure
  • Volume

By giving your visitors the information that they want, you can improve the customer experience, encouraging engagement and navigation throughout the site.

4.     Manage your time more resourcefully

As well as saving the time and budget of the website development company that you are using, you can also help to manage the time of your own staff more efficiently.

If you and your employees are writing the content yourselves, a content-first approach will avoid a last-minute rush, allowing you to allocate writing duties over a longer period.

If you’re employing the website copywriting services of the web design company, they can use their time more effectively to ensure that the content is correct at every stage of the process.

5.     Define your content strategy

Taking a content-first approach to a website design also gives you the chance to kick start a broader content strategy for your business.

Once the core pages of your website have been finalised, you can look at adding regular blogs and news articles based on the themes and topics that came out of discussing the needs of your customers and clients.

Constant, high-quality content added to your site will not only position you as a thought-leader in your industry but also help to support your SEO, PPC and social media strategies. 

If you’d like to find out more about a content-first approach to website design, get in touch with us.

Categories: Content & Creative, Website Design & Development

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