Content Needs to be an Essential Part of Web Design

As web designers, we tend to focus on the aesthetics and functionality of a website design rather than including content writing as part of the process. The problems that can result include poor quality content, content that’s too late, or even content in the wrong format.

Some designers may rely on their clients to write content. However, the problem is that most clients are not able to produce informative and persuasive content. The result is the content does prompt an action in the site visitor. How many clients have the ability to write this type of copy? Not many.

Many web designers fall into the same problem, with the results being less than spectacular. For instance, waiting on a client to write content may take weeks of coaching and direction. This can mean the project goes on for months rather than weeks. That’s simply not acceptable for your or your clients.

Content development should be included in the website design process, but how? We’ve put together some tips to help you and your client come to an agreement on how to manage content creation within the web design project.

Understand the Difference Between Content and Design

Many designers, and their clients, have the mistaken belief that design and content are the same things. Many web designers do admit it’s not their job to create content; however, they end up creating content for the client anyway. Most designers don’t have the experience or the ability to create written content.

It’s essential for both the web designer and client to understand there’s a difference between content and design. Content, whether it’s written, audio, or visual, is mean to be consumed. Design provides the presentation/foundation for the content. Design is about influencing how people feel about the content. As you can see, design and content are completely separate; however, each is necessary to create a website that works for the client.

For these reasons, content must be included in the design process.

Who is Responsible for Creating Content?

The client and the website designer may not be qualified to create content for the website. So, who creates the content? It requires the use of a professional content writer.

Not every client will be able to afford a content writer in the design budget. But how do you handle clients who balk at the cost of using a content writer?

Here are some tips to help you challenge the client’s mindset. These are tips that present some positive reasons for adding a content writer to the project:

  • Saves time for you and your client (neither of you has to write the content!)
  • Makes the design process more effective (when you don’t have to spend time creating content)
  • Results in better content for site readers
  • Ensures the brand message is solid all through the site’s content

Overall, it’s essential to point out to the client that professionally written content brings a higher return on investment. The key is to help clients understand specifically how written content will work for them. Many clients don’t truly understand the value of written content. So, your goal is to help them understand the value of written content.

Strategies to Tie Content with Website Design

Here are some methods you can use to help your client to understand what content can do for them.

1). Hold a Content Workshop & Point Out the Benefits

Hold a content workshop with your client to help them to understand the importance of written content for their site. Show them the value content can add to the website. Use these points to help convince your client:

  • Start the discussion with a definition of content, then show examples of both good and bad content. Ask the client and their team for feedback to gauge their understanding. You may need to reiterate a couple of points.
  • Discuss the overall goals by asking your client some questions:
  • What will a visitor want on the homepage?
  • Who would find this content useful?
  • What will a visitor do after reading this page?
  • Keep the discussion focused on the message and how they expect the visitor to feel. Avoid the conversation going toward how things may look.

The purpose of this discussion is to persuade the client that it’s best to include a professional writer in the project. You will also need to persuade them the cost is valid and that the overall investment will be beneficial in the long run.

2). Partner with a Copywriter Ahead of Time

Bring a copywriter onto the team and merge their service with yours. This way, you can avoid itemizing each service on the invoice for your client. The benefit of doing this is that the service will be included in the price rather than itemized. This makes it more difficult for a client to challenge the cost of the service.

When preparing an invoice, be sure to include copywriting as a standard part of the project. This way, not as many clients will ask to have the cost justified. There’s a higher probability they’ll accept the service if the price is included in the quote rather than itemized.

It’s possible the client may still question, or they may try to negotiate a lower price. That’s OK. Just refer back to the benefits outlined in section 1.

3). Ask the Client These Questions to Develop Content

It can sometimes be challenging to come up with the right content for a site. So, it can be helpful if the designer asks the client certain questions to develop the right content strategy for the site:

  • Why do you do what you do?
  • How does your project/service make your customer’s life better?
  • How do your customers describe you?
  • Who are your competitors? How do you differ from them?
  • Where will this project take you?

4). Use Real Content ASAP

Rather than designing layouts with Lorem Ipsum copy, start out with real content from the very beginning. Placeholder content really doesn’t offer the same experience as using real text. When showing your client the site, they will see the real text and how the appearance of the site all works together to reach out to the site visitor.

Avoid writing content as you design. The reason is that the content usually gets pushed to the bottom of the pile (or completely forgotten). Plus, when it’s time to launch the site, and there’s a problem, it may be difficult to fix.

These are some methods you can use to help the client see the value of written content. You can also help them understand why a professional content writer is more effective them you or their team writing the content.

And remember, it’s your job to create an aesthetically pleasing website rather than creating the content for the website. Remember this, and you’ll help yourself and the client!

Content Needs to be an Essential Part of Web Design ultima modifica: 2021-05-16T10:01:44+00:00 da Purple Lemur

16 May, 2021