The qualities of a well-designed and functional website include ease-of-use, search optimized, well-placed calls-to-action, mobile friendly, clear navigation, accessible to everyone and a visually appealing design.
These are all great qualities given that your website is the first impression of your company. In fact, you only have 15 seconds to make that impression. Here is another interesting stat, of the people that stay on your page longer than 15 seconds, 66% of the attention on the page is spent below the fold.
Although content works hand-in-hand with the design, content is the actual star of the show. It is important to get it right.
If the content does not resonate with the audience, even the most beautiful, well designed web site won’t matter.
How do you ensure that you create high quality web site content?
Let’s take a look at our process with our client - Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled (CORD). CORD is a non-profit organization that advances independent living and the rights of people with disabilities on Cape Cod and the Islands in Massachusetts.
Red Javelin teamed with web design firm 3 Media Web for this project. The client required new branding and a completely new website that combined the content from two concurrent websites. One of the primary goals was to minimize text and ensure that the content stress the user’s viewpoint rather than focus on programs. CORD also wanted the website to be completely accessible and be compliant with WCAG (Website Content Accessibility Guidelines).
1. Initial Assessment
CORD had two separate dated websites that were text heavy. They failed to engage visitors; instead, they sent visitors to other websites with external links. The new CORD website needed to resonate with a variety of website visitors: prospective clients, donors, volunteers, and those in a position to refer prospective clients to CORD.
In addition, CORD’s content was not succinct. Written collateral was inconsistent and videos were too long for quick consumption and didn’t get to the point fast enough.
2. The Messaging Blueprint
After the initial assessment, Red Javelin began the content process by developing a Messaging Blueprint. A Messaging Blueprint identifies and profiles CORD’s key audiences, their pain points, and develop the value propositions that address those paint point and weave them into a brand story. The Blueprint serves as a roadmap for all future communications and helps the organization speak with a clear and consistent voice across all marketing activities. Here is our four-step process.
- Interviews: We begin the process by interviewing a variety of stakeholders within the organization as well as external stakeholders – donors and clients. From those interviews and other research, we create personas that profile CORD”s ideal clients. This helps the entire organization understand and stay focused of their needs of their target audience.
- Competitive Audit: Next, we conduct a comprehensive competitive communications audit. This is different from a product or service competitive analysis. We take a close look at how competitors are communicating and the messages that they are bringing to the market. If you don’t understand your competition, you won’t be able to create a competitive brand story.
- Identify Differentiation: Using the data collected from the interviews, the competitive audit, general research, and website stats, Red Javelin identified CORD’s differentiation and developed messages that would speak to CORD”s audience.
- Testing: Red Javelin tested messages with both internal and external stakeholders.
- The Blueprint: The Blueprint includes the tagline, primary and secondary messages for each target audience, the key support points for each message and the most appropriate format to use for each message.
Red Javelin then developed the content architecture, a site map, and very clear and straightforward navigation.
4. Mini Case Studies
Red Javelin used the information gathered during the Messaging Blueprint process to create mini case studies that were used throughout the site.
5. Images and Video
Images and video snippets we selected to support CORD’s mission. Images of the beach reinforced CORD’s coverage area – Cape Cod. Red Javelin viewed all existing video and selected snippets to support web copy throughout the site.
6. Web Copy
Using the Messaging Blueprint as a guide,, Red Javelin created engaging web copy that speaks directly to CORD"s clients and supports CORD”s mission and brand message. You can check it out here.
A Team Effort
The new CORD website is a complete integration of content and digital marketing. This comprehensive project included a team of experts from both 3 Media Web and Red Javelin in all areas of marketing, working together from concept to launch. The new CORD website successfully addresses its various constituencies and supports its mission as a primary resource for individuals with disabilities.