Creating content that matters to your visitors is the key to your website’s success.
There are over 1.8 billion websites worldwide, and every visitor is searching for something. Your website content is your opportunity to provide what your target audience is looking for.
Why is website content important?
Website content is valuable because it makes or breaks your website’s usability and your profitability. If site visitors can’t use your website to accomplish their goals — like finding information, purchasing products, or booking trips — they bounce. If they bounce, you’ve lost customers.
Site visitors often expect a navigation bar to be in a website’s header, for example. If you haven’t included this content or put it somewhere unexpected, it may cost you visitors. Users won’t know where to look for information they seek and will head to another site.
People also typically choose familiar brands, not products. Your website content should tell your brand story to help visitors connect to your mission and recognize you across the web (like on social platforms or in advertisements) to build familiarity. Logos, slogans, and color schemes express who you are and help viewers identify your messaging, which (hopefully) leads to them choosing your product or service over others.
Website content is also important because it shares what you care to convey to your reader. You want to convince visitors your product or service solves their problems, whether that’s cumbersome trip planning or sneakers that cause knee pain. What and how a website presents information determines whether your content resonates with the viewer.
Content and search engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves improving content so search engines (particularly Google) rank it higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Higher SERP rankings increase your site’s visibility, as most people only look at the first few links on a SERP. The better your content, the better your chances of drawing in new customers.
Google uses site crawlers that download all of your site’s components, including text, image, and video content. It then analyzes and stores each element in its database. When users perform a Google search, it returns the information it’s deemed most useful. Much of this is done with keywords that match your search queries.
To rank higher on SERPs, strategically include common search terms (keywords) in your content. Say you’re designing a website about wedding planning services and the most relevant term to rank for is “wedding planning guide.” If you use this keyword on landing pages, page titles, and in blog posts, you increase the chance of Google marking your content as an answer to the keyword’s question. Google will then present your content closer to the top of the SERPs to help searchers.
If your content is full of keywords but not relevant information, searchers will leave to find another, better website, increasing your bounce rate. Make sure you aren’t just using keywords to rank — instead, create valuable content centered around what searchers want to know.
You can also use keyword research in your design decisions. If the most popular wedding-related keyword is “book a wedding venue,” you might use this language in your call-to-action (CTA) buttons or include venue booking information on the homepage to fulfill search intent.
Logically organizing content, also called content mapping, also makes it easier for Google bots to crawl and accurately index your website, increasing the chance you’ll show up in SERPs.
How to prioritize content in your web design
Designing a website starts with planning the content. Just as you must know your shoe size to order the right pair, you need to know the type of content your site will house to build the best layout. If you don’t know what the website will include, the design might include unnecessary elements or leave out something essential.
Here are a few ways to prioritize content in web design:
Include the client in the process
If you’re creating a website for a client, you’ll want to become intimately acquainted with them and their brand to create a design they love. The content is often something they’re more directly involved in, as clients approve and request most images and copy. But you can also cultivate this relationship by asking them for design input at the start and checking in throughout the process.
Familiarize yourself by researching their industry, values, and beliefs. If they have brand guidelines, match any UI elements to them. Are you making sure their logo is used properly? Is the highest-conversion CTA being highlighted throughout? Does the copy match their brand voice? These are the questions clients likely care about answering.
If you can, implement a feedback loop with the client throughout the design process. Feedback builds trust with the client as they’re aware of progress and leads to shorter approval times for each stage.
Work closely with content creators
SEO, content, and web design are inextricably linked. You’re all working with the same content strategy, so make sure you’re collaborating throughout the process and putting priority items front and center. Everything from creating focal points on a web page to page table organization should be part of the overall team strategy.
It’s not just about button placement or headings for content creators — it’s about what copy encourages conversions, the color palettes that extend user time on the page, and what images drive conversation and questions about products.
Don’t stop there — work closely with everyone involved in increasing a website’s traffic, from SEO strategists to web developers, to optimize content. The more knowledgeable eyes on the project, the better.
Start with a content plan
While creating simple mock-ups to get approval on logos or color schemes is an option, start with a content plan when you’re forming whole webpages. Client-approved content strategies or plans ensure you’re designing around their expectations. They might want certain webpages or care about how the menu works, for example.
Consider including a short and long-term content plan to better understand how the website will develop. This also determines the size of the site you’re designing: If you’re starting a blog that will publish weekly, choose a website creation platform that supports more than 20 pages. If you’ll just have bare bones information or several longer sections of text, 20 pages might be enough.
Use content modeling to support CMS
Content modeling defines the structure, hierarchy, and relationships between a website’s various content types, like blog posts versus buttons, for example. A website that uses content modeling is much easier to translate into a content management system (CMS). A CMS is a platform that stores and manages content.
Most CMSs have assigned fields for content input. If your site’s well modeled, these systems will recognize every element, like images, CTAs, and text formatting when you upload files or create documents, and display them on your site appropriately. This makes it easier for your site and your CMS to “talk” to each other — content pushed from the CMS uploads correctly on the other end and content interacting with the CMS registers properly.
Some CMS allow you to track button clicks, like website link clicks from social media posts, for example. This helps you further optimize content and track conversions across platforms.
Create great website content with Webflow
Potential clients visit websites to enjoy and interact with great content — create a website that makes them love yours. Webflow offers hundreds of design templates to help you organize, optimize, and map out your site. There are always ways to build your brand with content-forward design.