Content Development – Why Text Trumps Design
There is one issue that quickly pits the average marketer against a typical webmaster. Most often, this battle occurs on the front lines and between the convergence of appealing web design and content development. All too often, companies begin exploring a website, new or old, from its graphical presentation alone. Separating the function and purpose of high quality content development on its very own island, unrelated to final design innovations or limitations. Lots of energy and time are typically dumped into a site’s graphic design with little attention to content planning. Despite the very important fact that today, Google believes this to be one of the most critical factors for judging a website’s quality.
In our experience, content development should be a primary driver for any website’s organizational structure or graphic appeal. Google’s very own Matt Cutts has shared his belief that, “Content is king,” and nearly all recent Google algorithm updates have proven this point. Now, we don’t believe a company must sacrifice the eye appeal of any site’s design. However, we do think that some basic considerations will help any company to strengthen an existing site or build a fantastic new one.
Since Google, the top search engine, pays particular attention to how a site is structured, it makes sense to keep the organization straightforward and clean. Group relevant information and folders together. Use good keyword phrases to make your website’s information that much easier to find in searches. You’ll want to brainstorm the best ways to present information to your target audiences – ensuring you’re thinking like they will – when searching for helpful resources on related topics.
Next, consider a web page’s layout. Google considers the information displayed Above the Fold to be extremely important. (This is the area viewed on a webpage without scrolling) Don’t waste this prime real estate with just a graphic or animated sequence. Instead, design the page to also accommodate a minimum of 200 words of high quality content within this space. If you consider this requirement during the actual design stages you’ll find it’s not so hard to make content and design work together, in complement.
In 2014, quality content development continues to trump web design when it comes to the SEO performance of a website.