Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Web Content Not Working? Could Be Your Design

The title makes this post sound like it's focused on web design, but it isn't really. Why would a copywriter presume to write about web design? It just so happens that web design and written content are two sides of the same coin -- that coin being the revenue you make off of incoming site traffic and conversions.

Let's say your fabulous new business website is failing to turn visitors into buyers. You know it's fabulous because you hired a professional copywriter to cook up some fabulous content, which he did. The text grabs the attention right off the bat, makes a powerful statement, and closes with the appropriate call to action -- so why is it tanking?

Well, for starters, maybe it's sitting in an effective layout. Does the design make it easy for visitors to see where they can find the specific solution to the problem that brought them to the site? If the home page doesn't provide the necessary navigational cues, viewers may never drill deeper to encounter the rest of that fabulous content buried within the site. But the designer doesn't hold the sole responsibility in creating a viewer-friendly web page. If the writer presents an overstuffed wall of text, the designer may find it impossible to set that text in a visually appealing way. Writer and designer must be on the same page (so to speak) from the beginning, working in concert to create a final result that gets results.

Or maybe your written content isn't working because a large percentage of your viewers can't even read it on their weapons of choice -- mobile devices. Unless you're using a responsive website design that takes different forms to fit different screen sizes, your entire site may be squeezed down until the text becomes microscopic. This issue has grown so significant that Google recently decided to give search-ranking preference to "mobile-friendly" sites sporting responsive designs. The higher your search rankings, the more visitors you'll receive -- and thanks to your responsive design, they'll actually be able to read your content.

Landing pages pose challenges of their own. These pages are saddled with the task of pitching their particular product or service so compellingly that the viewer can't help but click through to the order page. This means that the content must take center stage with as few visual encumbrances as possible. If your landing pages are too busy showing off your web designer's visual flair, they may not be able to direct your prospective customers' attention from beginning to end in an uninterrupted flow. It's like having having someone repeatedly running into the room and shouting at you while you're trying to work on an important project.

Is your design doing this to your landing page content?

By contrast, a well-conceived landing page design will enhance the text instead of competing with it. This is another situation in which writer and designer can achieve great things by working as a team. Creating exciting headers and positioning them in the perfect font and alignment, for instance, will break up the text in a way that soothes the eyes even as it compels further reading. The writer can also indicate to the designer where it might make sense to post specific images, trust badges, and other eye candy that will keep the reader engaged.

Web content and web design are equally important pieces of the big branding and inbound marketing puzzle. That's why you should choose writers and designers who communicate well, work together effectively, and understand the roles they must play in your success. Configure your website so it's easier to read and follow, and you've made it easier for yourself to make customers. So... here's looking at you, website!