How often do you pick out gift wrap before purchasing the gift or choose the kind of cake you want based off the exact decorations you want to put on the outside? Sometimes? Rarely? Almost never?
The same basic idea applies to design and developing websites. The important part for the user isn’t the exact layout, colors, fonts or style you use. The important part is what the site says and the information it gives the user, through its content. So many web designers are focused on a site looks that they forget to worry about what a site says or doesn’t say. Sure, it may look pretty, but if a site visitor can’t find the information they need or can’t figure out what the business actually does, that website does nothing for the business.
What is Content-First Web Design
Content-First Web Design is the process of designing and developing websites around the content needed to communicate your message to your users. In contrast, traditional web design and development processes tends to put content in the back seat and just plug it in wherever it fits in the design.
As a digital marketing and SEO company, our main goal is to create websites that turn site visitors into customers. To do this, we have to make sure that not only your site looks good and reflects your brand, but that it also gives users the information they need to decide to use your product or service. That’s why we believe in Content-First Web Design. By focusing on what the website needs to say first, we can build multimedia elements – photo, video, graphics – and the site design around what is going to go in it. This helps to ensure that our supporting elements are doing their job of enhancing the content rather than over taking it or pushing it to the side.
What does Content-First Web Design look like?
At Marketeering Group, our Content-First concept and process uses our integrated team of designers, developers, content writers, strategists and SEO specialists to put together sites that are content-rich, on-brand, and ready to be used across all digital marketing channels as the online face each business. Through our extensive experience, we have streamlined our process so that it is well organized, efficient and flexible for meeting every client’s needs, whether big or small.
Our design and development team’s new site processes follow the same basic trajectory no matter the size or complexity of the project. Our processes include:
Inspiration and Planning
- Set goals and expectations for what the site will do with our client
- Gather inspiration from the client’s brand, example sites of what they like and even their competition
- Decide on sitemap, wireframes, tools (theme, plugins, other functionality) and overall tone for the site
Content and Multimedia Creation
- Create page outlines based off of our sitemap and wanted wireframes. Include page titles, subheadings, taglines and necessary content sections. When it comes to matching content to wireframes, I always tell my writers that the wireframes are an initial guide and that if we need to make adjustments based off where the content takes them, we can.
- Create shots lists for photo/video and spec sheets for any graphic needs
Design and Development
- Use content, graphics, photo/video, wireframes and branding elements to design and develop the site
- Review, test and revise to ensure all functionality is working, the site responds well on all device sizes and that it meets the client’s expectations
- After all revisions and tests are complete, and the site is approved by the client, we release it into the wild.
- After launch, we continue to perform regular maintenance, security and updates to sites to make sure they are running well and stay up to date and relevant.
Why should you work with a team that uses Content-First Web Design
No matter how big or small your business, nor how simple or complex your website, you should work with a team that is focused on telling your story and spreading your message to your users. To accomplish this, your content needs to be paramount to the process and not an afterthought once everyone thinks the placeholder content or blank text boxes look pretty. At Marketeering Group, we focus on who your business is and what your site visitors need to know while designing and developing your website. We want you to be able to be proud of how your website looks and what information people are able to get when they visit it. This keeps people coming back to your website rather than just looking at it once for its visual appeal.
If you’re interested in getting started on your new website and a cohesive digital marketing package, get in contact with us today!