Have you ever noticed that there are some really wordy, content heavy websites out there that seem to be really popular? Certain popular blogs spring to mind. There’s a good reason for that. If you provide very high quality relevant content, search engines will index it and website visitors will read it.
You don’t actually need lots of interactive features and flash animations. You just need the text that your visitors are looking for. If you’re a restaurant, this is going to be copies of your menu, your location and your contact details, perhaps with some information on the provenance of your food. For us, its information on the services we provide for small to medium size businesses, how our content management system, the Toolkit, works for our clients and our contact details.
To support the quality content you’re now going to add to your website, you’ll need a very clear and self explanatory website structure. We’ve found out from some online research (read it here) that website visitors read websites in an F shape, starting on the left and going down and to the right slightly.
This is why there are certain conventions in web design. Menu bars go horizontally across the page at the top, as this is the first sweep of the eyes across a web page. Important links should go on the left of the page to hit this hot F pattern.
Alongside this new special awareness, it’s important to keep your menu items, links and content jargon free. If you want people to find your contact details, have a link saying “Contact Details” rather than “Get in Touch” or “Connect with Us”
As we’ve said, good content is self supporting. If you want to introduce other visual elements, ensure they relate to this content. Blinking animations and ads will detract from your content, not allowing visitors to focus on the important aspects.
In the same way, if you’re linking to another page ensure the link text is precise, leading to the destination described. This will help focus your visitor on where you would like them to visit.
You’ve probably got a goal in mind for your website. It’s probably as simple as getting people to get in touch with you. Whilst working on each element of your website, keep that goal in mind.