What Does Good Web Site Content Look Like?
by Aryeh Powers
When building a new Web site or introducing a new product to the Web, it is important to consider what you can do to insure that your Web site has good content. Content that your viewers will be interested in. O.K., so what type of content will grab your visitor’s attention and convert them into a customer or get them to tell their friends about your site? What kind of content do they expect to find on a site that offers the type of product or service that you offer? Should you encourage your visitors to sign up or should you simply present the information in a non-intrusive way and let them figure it out? These are questions that you should be asking yourself, especially when creating your home page and questions that should be less challenging for you, after you’ve finished this post.
To get started, let’s do a review of the Web site content of some of Business Insider’s 2011 “best startups”. Click on 1 or 2 of of the links below:
Here are a couple of similar concepts that you see across all of their home pages:
Content is to the point: The product’s value becomes apparent within a sentence of visiting the home page.
Images and media that is engaging: Pronounced link buttons, images, media and social media buttons that are asking you to click on them.
Big font and less explanatory text: The bigger text makes the content easier to read and gives viewers the impression that every word matters and that they won’t have to sift through piles of text to understand what the product is all about.
Easy Navigation: The header navigation (links at the top of the page) is usually only 3 or 4 links. Other links throughout the site are embedded in other areas of the Web site (like in the footer section of the Web site).
Now let’s take a look at the about us pages:
If you go deeper into the site and you look at the about sections of the Web site’s mentioned above, you’ll notice that there is a more personal tone to a lot of the text. They either talk about the people that started the company or they speak about the people they are helping with their product. There is sometimes information about the product, but it seems less important than the story of the company. This is rather interesting when you think about it. It’s kind of counter intuitive to use an about section to talk about the leadership and company vision, instead of focusing more on the actual product itself.
This style of writing (more personalized and less technical) is becoming more and more popular in Web sites, and the reason is that online viewers are looking for content that engages them, something that speaks to them personally and ultimately something that they can interact with.
There are a lot of elements to creating good content, but I want to give you 2 rules to follow to help guide you in creating content that your viewers will enjoy.
Rule 1: Understand that online viewers don’t like sifting through information unless they can see a value in what you’re offering right from the start. If you don’t capture their attention within a sentence of them coming to your Web site, then you may as well just be 1 of 50 Web sites that they thought they’d check out today. Make your home page message clear, to the point and as descriptive as possible. Remember you want to get them interested within the FIRST sentence of your Web site. This is why it’s a good idea to have 1 to 2 lines describing what you do and very few visual distractions on your home page. Also, don’t have too many links to too many places on your site in the header section. Consider only having links to places that convey or strengthen what your company is all about. Take the Betterworks Web site as an example. The only prominent links from the home page are the Features, Pricing, Free Trial, Login and Get Started buttons. It’s simple and keeps you interested, instead of bombarding you with a ton of links that you have no interest in exploring. Bottom line: keep it simple.
Rule 2: for the text of your Web site: always keep in mind that today’s online viewers are interested in more interactive products and Web sites and expect to be engaged. You can’t convince people to buy your product with simply offering compelling information. The information that you convey needs to speak to them and make them feel welcome in your online environment. Talk to your viewers about your team, about your mission in the same way that you would talk with a business colleague about your work, over a cup of coffee. Online viewers are expecting to see some personality in your Web site. Oblige them. Bottom line: engage your visitors with more personalized content.
I think that if you follow the 2 rules above, you will have a much easier time structuring your Web site and creating content that will keep your viewers interested in your product and Web site. Most importantly, enjoy creating the content of your Web site and add some of your personality to it; your viewers will appreciate it.Tags: betterworks, business insider, codecademy, skillshare, start-up, startup, turntable, Web site, web site content, zaarly