Content Is What It’s About
Like the essential 5 “Ws” of a news story (who, what, where, when and why), the 2 “Ws” (who and what) are essential in order for a business-to-business (B2B) website to successfully do its job. Content is the reason a potential client comes to your site and it’s your job (actually it’s mine) to make sure that they clearly understand who you or your company is and the product or the service you or it provides. Content should drive the site but many times, this is not the case.
Too often a client’s focus is on the visual aspect of their site and what it should look like, with not nearly enough thought given to clearly communicating who they are and what they do. As a designer, I certainly appreciate the importance of the visual, but it’s information and the need to know that drives a person to a website. The design should be the vessel that clearly conveys the content.
In addition, the search engines’ singular purposes is to gather information and provide it to anyone who expresses an interest.
Design At The Service of the Idea.
When I hear someone say, “it’s not pretty” or “the colors I like are …” or “my favorite colors are …” when very little has been said about what they are trying to communicate or the purpose of the website, I suspect that a great deal more thought has gone into the look of the website rather than its content.
People want to know who you are and what you do and businesses that don’t provide much content or where the design overpowers or dominates the content run the risk of being ignored or dismissed.
In the following excerpt from Nick Stamboulis’s excellent “Brick Marketing Blog” he deals with the importance of content.
Content Is King
The search engines (and your target audience members) like content. It helps determine your relevancy and a B2B website with lots of good content is viewed more favorably than B2B websites with little to no content or poor content. Take the time to get inside the customer’s head and provide them with all of the information that they may need
Any content that you create online, whether on your own website or on other web properties, should be created with SEO in mind. Include keywords throughout the content of the page naturally. FAQ pages are great places to target some long tail keywords since someone looking for answers has something very specific in mind.
Include Meta Tags
Far too many websites optimize and write meta tags for only some of their web pages. They focus on the homepage and other primary pages but don’t worry about doing it for deep inner pages. This is the wrong approach. Every page of a B2B website should be optimized. Remember, the search engines rank web pages, not just the homepage. If you do a good job of optimizing the page and writing custom meta tags, it’s another page that could bring in traffic.”
The essence of modern design is that “form follows function.” The function of a website is to communicate the “who” and the “what” of the client. The website’s form (it’s design) is successful when it illuminates that function.