352 Inc. / Digital Marketing / July 30th, 2009

Making Your Web Site Content Effective

Most people are visiting your Web site for the content. When I say “content” I’m referring to the actual information on your site. People will try to find your content and the names of buttons, images, forms, and navigation all play an important role. Content, navigation and images all go hand-in-hand, playing a major role in Web usability.    

Your Web site will be well-received by users if the content:

    1. answers a question or helps them complete a task    2. is easy to find and easy to understand     3. is accurate, up-to-date, and credible     4. images are obvious and related to the topic

Web users skim and scan pages for information pertinent to the topic they are looking for.  Eventually, Web users do read the content but it’s not until they find the topic they are interested in; pursuing the Web page’s links, headings, short descriptions, bulleted lists, and so on—all very quickly. 

A few colleagues in the Web industry volunteered to send me pages of their Web sites for content/navigation recommendations. I’ve highlighted both pros (green boxes) and cons (red boxes).  Keep in mind my recommendations are brief and solely based on the organization of the content, not the actual content itself.

Example 1 – A Technology Tamers Web Site 

Although the content on this page is quite thorough, if you visit the page, you’ll notice it’s quite long. (despite my screenshot)

    –   Review content for fluff and remove it    –   Use anchored lists of questions/topics at the top of the page (this will help         users find the information they are looking for quickly)     –   Use bullets/numbers for appropriate content     –   Organize content in a way that makes sense to the user

 

 

Example 2 – Ayurvedic Web Site

    –  Consider using limited font sizes and styles, too much can clutter the page and        make your content difficult to readAlways gather feedback from other Web        users. Ask them if you site is easy to navigation and if the content is easy to        read?        –  Use images that users can relate to and if a product image include captions        and link  to the product details       – Breadcrumb navigation is helpful for users to know where they are at on the site

 

 

To create a Web site that communicates well, you must think about who you are communicating with. Understanding your audience is critical in while deciding how to