Websites fundamentally consist of data which may be rendered in one way or another to the user. This data could be articles, infographics or video. Whatever type of information the website publishes, it is likely going to be the thing that brings the user to the website. If you have not been living under a rock, you must have heard the phrase ‘Content is King.’ Content, indeed is king, when it comes to increasing engagement and traffic, which is why you have a website in the first place.
Image via Pixabay by Suomy
What is a content focused website?
In simple terms, any website that regularly updates its content is called content focused website. There is a user creating content and other users consuming it. Online magazines and newspapers are purely content focused websites. No matter how the content is being generated, the website only revolves around content.
When we talk about content focused, we are emphasizing more on focus than on content. Generally, there are millions of websites that have content but there are not as many that focus on content. There is a fine line between these two types of websites. The latter is also focused on how the content is presented and consumed by the user. These websites present content to the audience in the best way possible.
Importance of content focused website
Being relevant in the online world is the key to success. Content providers spend time and energy finding ways to present relevant content to their audience and that too at the minimum possible cost. Suppose you have what qualifies as good content but if it is not reaching the right audience, what is the point? Content focused websites know what to surface to whom. The relevance of content changes the game and consequently you get better traffic rankings and more loyal visitors.
Whether you know the preference of your audience or not, such websites know how to work around the content and bring most appropriate content to the user. If you have information about the audience, then your website would bring related content, perhaps something that the reader was not even looking for but is now interested in. On the other hand, if the audience’s preference is unknown then a content focused website would present the most viewed content because an average visitor would probably want to use that. That is how efficient and good a truly content focused website is.
Reasons why you should redesign your website
Most content based websites that perform poorly simply have the content to be blamed. However, it may very well be the case that a website with good content is performing not so well. The best way to make your website work again is to redesign it and make it content focused. Here are some reasons why you should think about redesigning your website:
- Your website is not delivering results
You may have a pretty looking website but if it is not delivering results you need and not meeting your expectations, it may be time to say the pretty website goodbye and redesign it. In the case of content, you have content that is high quality but it is not reaching as many people as you would like. Before redesigning it, you need to analyze what is wrong with the website.
Try to get in the shoes of the audience and find out where they left off. Is your content even presented properly? Are there too many obstacles before the audience reaches its desired page? Are all the links working? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself. When you identify the problem, you know what exactly you need to change.
- Your website is slow
It takes 4 seconds for a customer to abandon an e-commerce website if it fails to load. Same could be said about content based websites. After all content too is a commodity in the online world that people are looking to benefit from. And similar to e-commerce there is tons of content available online so the competition is too stiff.
If your website is taking too long to load, perhaps there were problems in its development or you chose a poor hosting service. A slow website will not only repel visitors but also rank poorly in search engine rankings. In any case, slow website is a red alarm and calls for some big changes to improve performance.
- Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is pretty self-explanatory and it is not a good thing for your website. When identical content is present in multiple locations, it becomes hard for the search engine to index the content and also to include it in search query results. This of course results in poor search rankings and low traffic rates.
- Unresponsive Website
There are more mobile users now than there are desktop owners. What does that tell you? The world has gone mobile. A responsive website is a website that works for all users no matter what platform they are using. If you do not have a responsive site, you can kiss goodbye audience using mobiles and tablets. You would want your content to be viewed across every platform. That too is an attribute of a content focused website.
Key Performance Indicators are crucial for any website and they will practically decide when to start redesigning your websites. The KPI for every website is different and that is why there is no definite answer as to which KPIs one should focus on. For blogs, subscription rate could virtually be the most important KPI. If subscriptions are down, you know something is wrong.
Similarly, for a lead generation website the overall lead generation rate or the lead generation form abandonment rate could serve as the main KPI. Of course, you need functionality for measuring these KPIs and if your website lacks them, there is no way you will ever be able to trace the performance of your content and the website as a whole.
- Content Strategy is Lackluster
For a content based website, content strategy is super important. In fact it is crucial for almost any website thanks to the undeniable importance of content marketing. If your content strategy is not focused on quality, it is high time it started focusing on quality. And come to think of it, if you are changing your content strategy then you might as well redesign your website as it is going to host the content. Again, the content will only work if it reaches the right audience.
- Difficult Maintenance
If you cannot maintain your website, upload new content in a smooth fashion, it is time to redesign and get a website that makes maintenance super easy. Content focused websites need to be updated on a regular basis. A nonflexible website would not only be annoying but also disastrous in the long run. Like discussed earlier, people want things almost instantaneously. If you take too long to upload new content, by the time you do it may not remain relevant. What you need is a simple platform where you can maintain your website easily.
Steps to Redesigning Your Website
Make a Plan
Now that you have decided to redesign your website and make it content focused, what should be your first step. What should be the first step in doing anything? The answer to that is planning. You need to plan the redesigning process. For that you have to identify the problems and list down your goals. Redesigning goal is not just a new look but also the underlying aims like achieving better traffic, improving flow etc. This will make for a blueprint of your new redesigned website.
Deciding what stays
You are redesigning your website, not entirely moving to a new one. So essentially you will have to decide what stays and what goes away. Some pages might be unnecessary while some may be of little importance. You have to identify what will be relevant and cohesive with the new design.
Redesigning website is a big step, one that requires both money and time. You have to identify and allocate resources accordingly so as to get the best outcome for your content focused website.
For your website to be truly content focused you will have to take a high performance SEO approach. When redesigning website, take into account how your content will rank higher in search queries and how your website will rank better in search engine rankings. For this inbuilt SEO tools can do wonders and get you ahead in the game.
One for All
Everything should be in one place from creation to promotion and from analysis to feedback. You should opt for a platform that provides everything in one place and makes it convenient and flexible for you to manage your website. Content is being created and updated almost on a daily basis so you need a system that brings all operations in one place.
Don’t forget Content
Remember website is just a holder for your content at the end of the day. When redesigning website to focus on content, do not forget to focus on content itself. It has to be original, relevant and of high quality. Even when you are in the middle of redesigning, keep the content rolling.
When should you redesign your platform?
There are myriads of platforms to build your website and each has something unique on offer. WordPress, for instance, makes a blogger’s life very easy with its simple interface. Your website’s and subsequently your content’s success has a direct link with the platform you are using. You may be in need of a better platform if your content is not living up to your expectations.
There are many roads you can take to get yourself a wholesome content focused website. DevriX offer complete and reliable solutions on top of WordPress with years of experience. From development to maintenance plans, they have everything a content creator could dream of.
Image via DevriX
You should redesign your platform when:
- A platform takes ages to update content. Not only will it be an inconvenience but it will sink your content before it has even reached the audience. Remember, content creation is all about effective and quick delivery.
- The platform is not relevant for the purpose of your website. For example, WordPress is better for blogs as compared with Joomla. Choose a platform that excels at content creation, publishing and promoting.
- It is not responsive. Today is the age of mobile and you need a platform that is responsive and brings your content to every platform there is. Squarespace’s all templates are responsive.
- It is too complicated and requires a lot of learning and training. If you are a tech savvy person you might be able to excel at it but someone with little knowledge of the web world might find the platform hard to work with.
- If you fundamentally need plugins and the platform does not offer plugins (Tumblr). Plugins are small programs that let you do things with your blog like SEO or Spam filters.
When to refresh or add content?
Refreshing and adding new content is extremely important especially for websites whose universe is basically content. Before getting to the answer for this question you need to ask yourself few questions. How much traffic do you get on average each day? How many people interact or share the content? What type of content sees more traffic? The answer to these questions will help you in identifying the right time to add new stuff.
Fresh or new content does not mean something entirely new on the planet, just something new for your website. As a general principal, you would need to refresh your content when your traffic slows down. But that is not always the case as some websites get huge amounts of traffic every day. If you are crossing into a new niche of online audience, then you would want to add something new that is relevant to them, for example a makeup blog venturing into herbal remedies.
As to how often you should add or refresh content, as a rule of thumb for blogs three updates a week is more than enough. This should keep your audience keep coming back for more and retain their interest. A corporate blog, on the other hand, could also do with only one update in a week.
When we talk about refreshing content we should also talk about the kind of content to refresh. If your videos get more audience than do your articles then obviously you need to refresh your video based content more often as compared with articles.
A content focused website is more driven towards relevance and personalization as these are the keys to getting high traffic and loyal audience. Content focus means not only focusing on content but also on how it is presented, when it is presented and to whom it is presented. If your website is not content focused, it is high time you redesigned it to make it one. In some cases, you might want to redesign your platform as well because of reasons such as slow performance, difficult management or limited support. Making your website content focused ensures that your efforts deliver 100% results and you continuously improve.