What should your organisation’s online presence mean to you?
Transforming your online presence is beyond vital – according to BBC Business, the UK is the ‘most internet-based major economy’, citing researchers who ‘predict that online business will reach a total value of £221 billion this year’.
With so much at stake, it is essential to get it right. Now more than ever, content is truly king. Research shows that the average web user spends around eight seconds wondering if a web page is good enough to merit his/her attention.
Good content leads with good copy fizzing with ideas, builds on representative and eye-catching images, is most effective with good navigation architecture and responsive design and captures attention with the appropriate use of styling.
Do you generate a vast amount of content everyday; with blogs, images, articles, social media feeds vying for headline space on your website? How do you manage to make the eight seconds count?
It begins with trying to understand your audience: who do you want to visit your website? Then picture this person – believe that they have the attention span of a sugared up eight-year old. Believe also that they cannot easily find the ‘big red button’ on a dashboard that only has a big red button. That would be a good beginning.
Next problem: who owns your website? Do you know who is ‘el patron’? Is it the same person who commissioned your work? Or, in the case of multiple owners, who gets priority? Is it the one who shouts the loudest?
Understanding the above two leads to establishing a comprehensive web content strategy. I will be blogging more about web strategy in my next post, but it would be interesting to do some investigative work first to understand who your target audience and project owners are.
Bring in the Content Management System!
Any business, whether it is a large enterprise or a small mom and pop store, would do well to base their website on a Content Management System (CMS).
What a CMS does is to make the process of uploading content – text, images, documents, tables etc. onto your website, as easy as using Word or Excel.
Most CMS come with a WYSIWYG editor, for content, and coupled with even a rudimentary knowledge of HTML, you can professionally upload content onto your website.
There are more CMS than even the most dedicated CMS fanatic can try out in one lifetime. As with anything, some systems are enterprise level, complex, top-of-the range and offer several features, extensions and modules, and there are others that are free to use, community led and driven, and are simple to use.
They differ hugely in pricing as well. Whereas some enterprise solutions are expensive and have annual maintenance contracts that would put a London real estate agency to shame, others have simple monthly pricing plans.
In my next blog in this series, I will be discussing web strategy, and making comparisons between CMS – looking at pricing models, technologies used and features between them. So watch this space!