Mar 13 2012
Anybody can build a website, but not everyone can build a site that is truly successful – both for users, and for businesses. To that end, we’ve outlined something of a proclamation on how we think, what we do, and why it matters.
Websites Are Destinations
Unlike advertising, people are not randomly exposed to websites, so the rules of “being interruptive”, “breaking through the clutter”, “doing something wildly different to get attention”, etc. don’t necessarily apply. People come to websites with a purpose, whether it’s to shop, to buy, to learn, or to be entertained. They don’t just arrive, they are directed by some other communication – a tweet, an ad, a blog post, etc. Their visit is fueled by a purpose. Successful sites recognize that, and tailor the experience and content accordingly.
Content Is King
Optimizing a website for search so that content is also meaningful and useful to the end-user is a challenge, but well worth the effort. It starts with identifying which keywords and phrases will best allow potential visitors to find the site. It also requires identifying both business and organic search competitors and determining what words and phrases drive their success. Then carefully crafting content to contain the most relevant keywords in a way that is meaningful and relevant to users. Writing website content that increases site findability, while also being relevant to users, is an artform.
Success Is Driven By Users
Before assembling a site map and content outline, it is important to understand all the goals and business needs the site is required to achieve. It is also important to understand the goals users will have when they are on the site. Business and user goals will influence every site design/development decision from home page copy, to a simple contact form submissions, or the purchase of a product.
You can have the slickest site on the web, but if users can’t access it, it doesn’t do anyone any good. For content to truly be king, the site needs to work whenever, wherever, regardless of device, or connection speed.
The Future is Unpredictable
Clean, flexible interfaces, that are designed in a way that is responsive to the user’s device, ensures that no matter how they access the site, they’ll be able to do so in a way that is both engaging and intuitive. Today’s ever-changing list of devices means website developers can’t think in the here and now, they have to be thinking in the then and there. They must acknowledge the unpredictable nature of the web, and embrace it fully.