Your website is nothing without your content. That folder of Word .doc’s and .jpg images you’ve been collecting is the raw material that will be transformed (through design magic) into an intuitive website that provides useful, actionable content to a rapt audience.
Communicating your vision (and adhering to your desired project timeline) rests largely on providing your web designer with the content they need to start building your site and developing the functionality that will satisfy your business needs. To maintain your schedule and sanity during this process:
- Nothing comes from nothing. Be ready to invest some time and thought into developing your content. Look at similar websites for ideas about what content might be important and useful to your audience.
- Start writing. Writing for the web is a little bit different that writing for print. Everyone skims and scans content online. Keep sentences short for easy digestion. Read content out loud or ask a friend or family member for feedback (take feedback with grain of salt).
- Edit and spellcheck everything. The nice thing about writing for the web is that nothing is carved in stone. If you make a mistake, or want to change something you said, text updates are (generally) a piece of cake.
- A picture is worth 1,000 words but… Images must be optimized for web use, labeled and categorized before sending to your designer or uploading to your website. You might be able to get away with stock photography but people are pretty visually sophisticated. Authenticity is important. Hire a professional photographer for headshots, product images and interior photos of your business.
Gardens don’t spring to life in full-bloom each Spring. It takes planning, maintenance, pruning and planting. Think of your website the same way. Your initial hard work will be rewarded with a website that communicates your message clearly, can grow with your business, establish trust among your clients and will perform well in Search Engines.