Why Content Isn't King: What This Means For Your Website

 
Time for some mythbusting: why content isn't king and what this means for your website marketing.

Content is king.

It's a phrase that's tossed around the internet in online entrepreneurship circles. It's true, content marketing is, hands-down, the most effective method of building your audience. But it's contributed to the misconception that design doesn't really matter. That is absolutely incorrect. 

Design matters now, more than ever.

We are in a highly-technological world where people spend the majority of their days viewing screens. With so many stimuli vying for their attention, they don't have the patience to wait for slow websites or to read content on sites that have no regard for their visual experience. 

 
The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother.
— Nielsen Norman Group

How do you incorporate UX (user experience) design to craft a client-focused brand?

Here are 5 basic principles to consider:

1. Design for Usefulness

Questions to consider:
Why would your ideal client come to your site in the first place? What are the pain points and frustrations that they're experiencing? What are their goals? 

What this means for your visuals:
You don't have a lot of unnecessary graphics. Your design is intentional and strategic. You make it easy for users to know where to go next with clear calls to action. 

Resources:
Try laying out your website in a wireframe without any graphic elements to make sure the structure makes sense.


2. Design for Desirability

Questions to consider:
How do your services appeal to your target client's desires? Are your colors, fonts, and imagery attractive to your target client? Does your website make them want to learn more?

What this means for your visuals:
Your brand image (colors, typography, photos) are appealing to your ideal client. You website is pleasant and enjoyable to use. It invites the user to learn more.

Resources:
Learn more about creating a color palette here. Get some quality stock photos: free photos from Unsplash or check out a curated collection of inexpensive stock photos.

 

3. Design for Value

Questions to consider:
What value are you providing? What sets you apart and makes you a better fit for your target client? How are you communicating this value visually?

What this means for your visuals:
Think about ways to communicate your value visually. This can be in the form of photography that instantly communicates what you do. It can also be done through color choice. We connect with colors on an emotional level, so consider how you want your target audience to feel when they visit your site. 

Resources:
Here's a great resource about the psychology of color. And here are some great sites for finding color palettes: an easy color palette generator and a more manual color palette creator.

 

4. Design for Findability

Questions to consider:
Is your navigation clear? Do you have a search bar above the fold or in your sidebar? Do you have a clear call to action on each page? Can a user find what she's looking for in no more than 2 mouse clicks? Does the typography create a clear hierarchy?

What this means for your visuals:
Your website layout and navigation are easy to use. Users can quickly search for content. Photos instantly communicate what it is that you do. Colors and fonts convey your brand tone. Users don't need to guess at what you do, because it's easily "findable".

Resources:
Make sure your fonts work together; here are some font-pairing ideas. Here's an example of a simple testimonial slider. Get inspired by more testimonial examples over here.

 

5. Design for Credibility

Questions to consider:
First impressions are often difficult to change. Does your page load quickly? Does your website convey the appropriate brand message? Does it look professional (giving you instant authority points)? How about on mobile devices? Do you have testimonials or other forms of social proof? Is your layout clean and consistent?

What this means for your visuals:
You have clear social proof. This can be in the form of testimonials (make sure to include a photo) or subscriber or follower count. You have professional photography or high quality and on-brand stock photos. There is a clear hierarchy (no random big letters and bright colors). The site is mobile-friendly, loads quickly, and looks legit. You know what I'm talking about.

Resources:
Here's a great site to get inspired by beautiful designs. And this site showcases the power of minimalism in design.

 

Conclusion

So, while many proudly march to the content king, I take a stand for the user. We are truly in the age where the user is king. As service-based solopreneurs, we need to craft brands that can both showcase our personality and provide a delightful user experience. That's why, when we work together, we'll create a client-focused design strategy for a website that builds credibility and grows your community.

Do you just want to know how our site stacks up?

I've put together a FREE comprehensive website audit checklist for you.