In case you haven’t heard, content is king.
This was a thought that Bill Gates had way back in 1995 when the Internet as we know it today was very much in its infancy. This was before YouTube popularized video, before gifs were all the rage and even before images were fully optimized on the web.
In the near 20 years since Gates first made this declaration, the way we communicate on the web has changed drastically. The bombastic use of colours and moving images (think of the Netscape logo) have given way to clear sites that can be viewed on any number of devices with flawless transition. 2016’s Web Awards winner for the construction category – Contech Engineered Solutions – is a great example of how far the web has come in its evolution. You won’t see pixilated images here, nor will you see shock colour palates. The array of portfolio images and videos make the site absolutely eye-catching while the navigation is sweet and simple.
With all this factored in, what drives the success for Contech’s website and for other construction companies is content. Contech has multiple blogs, breakdowns of their core markets and products to spur reader interest. Simply put, their website is rich with information, which is a key to the company’s overall success.
Taking a step outside the world of construction, you can see another example of how content remains king, by looking at everyone’s favorite quick-reference website, Wikipedia.
Wikipedia’s foundation has been built on providing trusted text. Content does, as it did from the very start, come from the general public (which can be inherently dangerous when you factor in pranksters or kneejerk information revision), but the approval process and revisions has allowed the website to maintain a wish level of credibility and trust.
Wikipedia also has one of the most basic designs you will ever see. It doesn’t feature much in terms of imagery, video isn’t part of the build and it doesn’t have a flashy (pardon the pun) new design by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the build is so basic that it could easily have been the first-go product of a high school website programming class. Wikipedia developers know that their bread and butter is the content itself, and every evolution has been to make the site more navigable.
Despite, and perhaps because of this simplicity, Wikipedia has become one of the most surfed sites on the web. Globally, Wikipedia ranks 5th behind Google, YouTube, Facebook and Baidu. That puts it ahead of Amazon, Twitter, eBay, CNN and just about any other website you can think of. It has ignored trends (including the aforementioned colour arrays and moving pieces) to maintain focus on its words.
Whether you work in construction, agriculture, retail or another sector, the same theory can be applied to your website. Consider your pages like Wikipedia articles – provide the basic information about the services your company provides in an easily navigable format, add a couple project photos and links to additional information, and your website will quickly be ready for optimized public viewing. Design helps communicate your difference and quality in an aesthetically pleasing manner, while the information you will keep potential customers on your site and help convert the curious surfer to the committed, loyal buyer.
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