content design

Content Writing or Website Design, Which Comes First?

The Importance of Content Writing

With websites today, the design aesthetics are becoming ever more important, but it is also good to remember that the content writing on a website is an equally essential element.

Having a website that is beautiful to look at with high quality images, infographics, animation and so forth, will do a number of things; it makes you look professional, entices users to stay longer on your site and strengthens the overall image of your brand. There is an old Chinese proverb “One picture is worth ten thousand words”, however, although an aesthetically pleasing, image driven website may be a beautiful thing to look at, it won’t convert browsers into buyers. Nor will it help your search engine optimization, or drive potential new customers to your site, and it won’t generate repeat business. What will do these things? Great content writing. Without really well-written content, your website will fall flat, because no one will ever find it, other than by accident.

Customer Conversion

Great content writing and quality design go hand in hand; they are like a hit song - the lyrics and the melody have to work together in complete harmony. In song-writing the question is often asked, ‘but which comes first, the lyrics or the melody?’ Songs are written both ways and so are websites, but by putting the content writing first, you can create a website with a stronger structure, designed to drive customers to you and keep them coming back for more. You can ensure you use strong SEO techniques within your content writing and website design that ensure you’re easy to find. You can produce informative, problem solving content that convert potential customers into paying ones.

Think of it this way, would you buy a car from a magazine just because you liked the photo? Or would you need to know more information about that car first? Take for instance the engine size, fuel type, transmission and so on. It is the content writing on your website that really converts browsers into customers, and it does so even better when combined with great overall design, images and graphics.

By concentrating on the content writing first and getting the rest of the design to work in harmony with it, you can focus on conversion, which is after all what every business wants: paying customers. The whole point of copy is to deepen the readers’ understanding, informing them simply and concisely about the topic or product. The objective of every line of copy is three-fold, to:

  • Inform
  • Engage
  • Convert

Every piece of content writing on your site must have a clearly defined purpose. If the copy does not make that purpose clear, then re-write it so that it does. If it has no purpose, cut it. Remember to use vocabulary, tone, voice and humour that will appeal to your clients and engage them, making them want to read more.


Nuts and Bolts


To begin, it is best to start with all the basic nuts and bolts, contact pages, about us pages, sales pages and finally your home page. This may seem strange, but the homepage is usually the very first page seen by any potential or returning client and it needs to have the most impact. The content writing on your home page, when teamed with the design, needs to be:

  • Hard hitting
  • Interesting
  • Intriguing
  • Concise
  • Clearly defined

Graphics and images must work to connect the content writing and illuminate it, making your message clear.


Paper Planning First


Rather than starting the build process on a computer, it is better to start on paper, and plan your website concept. When you know what each page is going to be about, decide on the content for that page. Start with the content writing, then move on to choose the complimenting media, such as images, graphics, links, audio and videos. Each piece should improve the understanding and enhance the experience for the user; if any content doesn’t do this, it should be removed. By working in this way you will save a great deal of time and expense, as you can iron out even the smallest details with your team before actual construction even begins.


Website Designer


The website designer’s job is to ensure that your finished site conveys the image you want to give your customers. The designer must understand the tone and feel you want for all parts of your site. They should ensure it functions simply and efficiently, is easy to navigate and easy to update. All aspects of your finished site must work like an orchestra, pulling towards one goal, like a beautifully crafted piece of music.

Remember, the first few seconds in which your website is viewed for the very first time, it has to convey a compelling first impression. If anything is not perfectly understandable, easily navigable and interesting, the visitor will more than likely click out of your site. Your overall design has to work seamlessly to engage that potential new client to look further. It can only be done with strong, well-written copy and high quality visual content, all combined into a “WOW!” provoking design.

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