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Importance of Content and its impact on design


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Thinking of websites as containers you build to drain content in is a common expectation, but wrong. This build-before-content approach is the origin of most other issues related to website: scope, pricing, poor user experience, creep and missed expectation. Many forms of projects of website are usually vague and mysterious for clients. Words like “content”, “design” and “development”… hold limited meaning for someone who’s never worked with web professionals before or done a website project before. How often do you see someone who thinks design is just about making things look good? It’s not your fault for thinking this way. It’s the ecommerce company’s job to inform you if you hire one. A professional will always share a diagram with you and will explain how all the aspects of a website project work together. This would make things tangible and understandable. This article will support you to jump-start this movement.

It may also help to remind these two points:

  • Beginning of all marketing communications is the Writing. It’s one of the dominant ways to get an idea out of the mind and take into the world. It is the initial point for any website project.
  • The writing process also creates simplicity about key messages and organization’s positioning. When transmitting the ideas in one’s head to words on a page, you can begin to see what’s confused and requires more clarification.

While expressing the argument of content before working on the design of website can be fascinating, consider taking a stand against procedures on an estimation or even development work until you have content.

How to choose a professional for copywriting.

As a Client you can consider your investment in copywriting on two levels:

  • Time investment: It ALWAYS takes longer than you think! So if you are going to do the copywriting by yourself, great. But you need to be really honest with yourself about how much time and resources you can commit.
  • Monetary investment: If you not considering the importance of copywriting, or understanding the amount of focus required, you aren’t going to see the value and won’t want to put money towards it.

Let’s discuss copywriting for a new website vs. a website redesign. You’ll run into a redesign website and feel copy work will be minimal; this is never the case. A redesign takes place because something isn’t working with the ongoing website. It’s secure to say you will need closely all new copy. Take this into consideration when creating a budget for your redesign projects.

If you are going to write the copy by yourself, there are a few things you can do:

  • Make a template of questions for yourself related to the information you would required. This template alone can transmit how serious of a task you’re taking on. I broaden more on this under Process, Copy Framework and Tools.
  • And if you are hiring a professional then ask him about their price of the project after they share their first draft. How on earth could you possibly know otherwise? You can always give them an idea based on similar industry, size or purpose. I find this approach works really well.
  • They will direct you to copywriters they trust and know. At least, they’ll provide you with someone to who can help you with editing.

Once you hire a professional they’re responsible for copywriting and they construct that service as a separate offering called a “Message Platform” – something that indicates language beyond website copywriting. Website copywriting can dictate a lot of company’s messaging. The result is you might end up with language you can use all communication channels. This is huge and worth billing as its own offering so price. It’s hard work! Even if the fee feels high to you as a client, a high price communicates the value of the work.

Writing naturally

How can you find a balance between creating friendly copy that is not full of jargon but at the same time is professional, if you are a “corporate” kind?

Jargon-filled copy doesn’t cut it, It confuses the reader, creates unreal separation. It also slows down a buyer’s journey because they get tripped up trying to interpret it.

To start with talking to your hired professional about why jargon doesn’t work. They will offer a solid reason for your recommendation.

Next, a professional will help you to translate. Even if they are not writers, they provide an outside viewpoint. Point out words or phrases that make you scratch your head.

Focus on the trend of using natural language in business communications. Using natural language helps your clients come across as a human being rather than a faceless business entity. You can be casual and warm, and still absolutely professional.

Keeping it short

How can you be inspired to value a “less is more” attitude to copy?

Sometimes you feel you need to say everything. You try to cram your webpage with full of words and images because you think if you don’t share all the information right away, the sale would get dropped. Take help from professionals to figure out what’s most important to your customers. Clarity on your offering, positioning and audience will trim down the words to only the most crucial ones.

When developing content, I literally motivate clients to be as verbose as possible! Not every little thing will end up on the website, but this is the expulsion of pressure clients feel to find the perfect words. Editing is a big reasoning why people find writing so challenging, so have them get it out on paper.

The amount of copy on a web page will be varying from company to company; there’s no rule. Instead, manage the text into a hierarchy of information and keep a lookout for words you can translate into imagery.

For efficient information ranking, think big-picture about all the main messages and how they relate to each other. Map the phases in the journey of buyer from unaware or minimally aware to fully commit. What does the user already know when they land on the website? What do they need to know in order to move them along the buyer journey? Use a clear content structure and the design of the site to guide a visitor without making them feel affected.

If many definitions are required to describe relationships between considering modifying wordings into ideas, imagery, Diagrams, models, info graphics are tremendous examples.

A Professional will Break up big chunks of text into small passages (even single-sentences) is a powerful approach and especially famous with email marketing. Besides heading levels and bullet points, here are a couple of other things he would do:

  • Highlight the first line of the first sentence or the initial few words at the start of each paragraph.
  • Paragraphs and Group headings by adjusting the spacing. Add additional padding above headings, and cut down the space between a heading and its parallel paragraph. He will write tweak the spacing custom to simple CSS. Occasionally, he would also use a Spacer Block to make even more distinction between groups of ideas on a text-heavy page.
  • Rise line-height (easily done in the Style Editor) which can be easier on the eye.
  • Apply strong contrast in font size for headings and body to indicate hierarchy at a look.
  • Increase margins so you have a text of narrower column. While this can build a longer page, it even makes the reading faster. In my experience, people don’t mind scrolling if the content is fascinating and profitable.
  • For encouragement, look at the sites for news that frequently publish pieces for long-form. Who can beat The Washington Post or The New York Times or? Both are fabulous examples of narrow column widths and loose line-height. It’s no coincidence the digital versions of these publications are similar-looking.

I have never deliberately decreased the amount of text on a website just to make it more mobile-friendly. I feel business objectives and messaging should educate how much text needs to be shared. I wouldn’t endorse creating a separate site just for mobile; that seems like an irrelevant administrative headache.

Copy Framework, Process & Tools

How can you make sure to have the balance between the brand’s voice (brand awareness, brand identity, brand culture) and the functional aspect of copy?

Always start by looking at the overall framework for making the website good and ask yourself two massive questions: Why does this business exist and why should people care? If you don’t have the answers to these questions, long-term achievement will be challenging and good marketing won’t be very favorable.

Next, the macro copy which keeps information like the company overview, team bios, product/service descriptions etc. The brand voice really starts to surface when you work through the writing process of macro copy.

Functional text like directions, buttons and error messages are considered microcopy. Since microcopy is a crucial component of the user experience, there are many opportunities to let the brand voice shine through. MailChimp does a great job at this.

As per me you don’t need to drive a balance. Let the brand voice invade all levels of copy and it will make for on-brand experience and personal.

I agree it’s quite tough to automate creativity, as an optimization junkie and productivity. I’m continuously seeking ways to organize work. I start all writing projects by asking my clients to complete a Messaging Workbook, which is a lavish way of saying, “Here are four pages of questions I want you to answer.” The questions are classified into divisions common to most websites (e.g. company overview, team profiles, etc.).

Templates that outline the information you need for each and every page is very essential tools. Most of the professionals actually set up a folder for clients on Dropbox or another cloud service and have them develop everything there. If they ever need more guidance, they set up child and parent folders to set up everything.

Always build a room for delays in your timelines. It happens most of the time, especially if the you aim to do the image and writing by yourself.

SEO

How can you combine SEO into the process? Should you build a list of keywords first and work it into the text? Or you should write the text first and then modify to optimize?

For many of the Professionals SEO is not as much of a preference as the other things sometimes they just do to achieve traffic and clarity. They write to deliver clear, confident and fascinating content that coordinates with who they are and how they want to be recognized.

Consequently, our clients say, we are knowledgeable of keywords significant to them. If they can be simply worked into the copy, we will include them. We try to follow basic best practices like using alt tags, writing human-readable file names, and adding mega keywords and page descriptions.

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