Now don’t get me wrong, I like a handsome website and I’m not such a philistine that I don’t cringe when I see a terrible colour scheme, or a squished or pixelated graphic, but it’s very easy to get distracted by the aesthetics of websites. Nothing wows your boss/client/mum more than a giant projection of your shiny new web pages writ large on a wall. Bold statements, compelling graphs, scrumptious pie charts – infographics that crystallize complicated concepts.
But there’s a problem.
The content on your website that conveys the real meat of your message are the words, even though these look terrifically dull on a silver screen from the other end of a room. The search engines do not see it that way. They will use that text to sort the wheat from the website chaff. Your visitors and customers need the information they hold and will take the time to read them and will appreciate them.
Over time, meaningful and relevant content will set your website above your competitors in the ranking and could just give you the edge. Great content drives organic traffic. Content that is geographically relevant speaks louder than text that is just generally relevant, so you must also consider where your customers are as well as what they need to know. That could mean taking the plunge and launching sites specific to different regions, or delivering your message in more than one language.
So next time you’re coming to a decision on investing in your website and have seen the colourful carnival parade of whizzy mobile-friendly web pages at the presentation, ask them what happened to the boring-looking slide showing a mobile phone screen packed with squiggly text.
Play the long game and play it to win – pay your tithes to King Content the First.
Photo by ND Strupler