October 31 2019

Let Content Drive Your Strategy

When it comes to redesigning a website, it’s essential that your content drive your strategy and planning—both ahead of the redesign, during the redesign and after the site has launched. 
 
A content-first approach to site design or redesign is crucial to creating a five-star user experience. When you think critically about content before beginning your redesign, every element of your site becomes intentional. Nix anything that doesn’t support your content strategy. This streamlines the user journey, making it easier for visitors to achieve their goals.
 
While some users may be well-versed in your industry, others will need help selecting the right products or services for them. The more relatable you make your content, the more trust and loyalty you’ll build. This boosts conversion and engagement and creates a highly measurable—and ultimately successful—digital experience.
 
It may be tempting to focus first on functionality and website design, but ultimately, users come and stay for the content. A robust content marketing strategy is the key to success.

Define your goals

First, define your goals. What does each section of your site need to accomplish? Setting goals for all sections and pages will help you develop action-based solutions and identify any content gaps. Consider the following questions as you define the requirements for your new site: 

  • Who is your audience and what are their objectives?

  • What do they need in order to feel guided and supported through their respective journeys?

  • How can you make every visitor’s experience personal?

  • What kinds of educational content or resources would benefit your users?

Answer these questions before you think about which pages to build and functionalities to integrate. Being clear about your goals will help you develop an effective framework. Once you know what you need to solve, you can fill in the gaps and determine the best way to get users where they need to go. This ensures your site architecture is intuitive and scalable.

Reach users where they’re at

Think about your brand guidelines: What do you want visitors to understand about your business? If you’re a financial institution catering to personal banking customers, make your products and services easy to understand and relevant to a user’s needs. Maybe your focus is on wealth management and you’re speaking to a savvier, more sophisticated audience. Either way, know your target demographic and speak their language.
 
Consider your audience’s priorities and use them to guide your hierarchy of information. What’s the most important takeaway? How do you increase prominence of that content while allowing users to dig deeper?
 
When mapping your content, keep the big picture in mind. Be sure it flows together in a way that makes sense—otherwise, you run the risk of creating a disjointed experience that leaves visitors wanting more. This may compel users to bounce and look to a competitor instead.

Content first, design second

Once you’ve outlined your content, you can begin thinking about how to structure it into a meaningful and scalable site architecture. A content-first approach ensures each piece of information has a home and is prioritized appropriately.
 
This is both a best practice and a safeguard. Leading with design may force you to adjust your content to fit a specific layout, causing you to make compromises that aren’t in the best interest of your business—or your visitors. Scalability comes from building your site around your content.
 
But don’t underestimate the power of design. How you present your content is just as important as the content itself. Create a cohesive experience by leveraging colors, graphics and imagery that support your messaging. An effective design makes your website relatable and helps it stand out from the competition. And breaking down large amounts of information into bite-size pieces allows visitors to easily consume your content instead of getting overwhelmed and leaving.
 
Ultimately, using content to inform web design enhances the user experience, sets your designers up for success and generates efficiencies in development.

Give your audience the tools to succeed

Blogs and other educational resources may be considered supplementary in the planning phase but should be a nonnegotiable tactic. An effective content strategy isn’t just about getting users to convert initially—it’s about getting them to come back and trust your brand for the long haul.
 
Brand loyalty is built on relevancy. Articles and newsletters keep your material fresh and engaging, help you connect with your audience and encourage return visits. Educational content also gives you a chance to better explain your products or services and why they’re important. This will help establish your business as a trusted resource and expert in the industry. 

Site redesigns are lengthy and complex but can have an enormous impact on your business. Doing the extra legwork upfront to plan and organize your content will pay off in the long run. Thoughtful content marketing equips your site with a strong foundation, helps you relate to and support your audience and encourages visitors to continue engaging with your brand.

Ready to dive in? ZAG Interactive can help. Contact us to speak with a digital expert and begin crafting a smart content marketing strategy.
  • Branding
  • Content
  • Website

posted by
Ari Mason
Ari Mason

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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