Website content includes verbiage about your business and the photos you want to have included on your website. Sometimes there is some confusion about how to format it before you deliver it to your developer.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest bottlenecks in the web design process occurs when a designer must delay work while they wait to receive content in a format they can use.
So this doesn’t happen to you, we have created a simple guide describing how you should bundle up your content before you send it off to your design agency. We will be using a small site in this example, but it should be enough to show you everything you need to do.
1. Create Your Folders
Create a new folder and name it with the same name as your website, or whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t matter. Go into this folder and make some new folders using the page names the designer will be creating for your website. For this example, we will use:
Now that you have the folders for each page, you will be using them to store your content.
2. Putting Content in Folders – Services Page
Let’s start with the services folder. Open Word and create a new document and save it to the Services folder. Call it services.doc.
Add a list of your services and create a description for each one. You should try for a minimum of 300-words on this page, but 500 or more is preferable. The reason for this is Google loves content. If you create a thousand-word page, Google will be more likely to rank your page.
Pages which don’t have a lot of content are called thin content, and they rarely do well in the search engines.
More than 1,000 words?
Another scenario could be that your business provides complex services, which could mean you need a thousand or more words for each description.
In this case, it would make sense to split your services into multiple pages. Service ONE would have a page, service TWO would have a page, and so on. Create a different word.doc for each service page if you are going to have more than one.
Now for Your Images
The next thing you want to include in your folder is some photos. Go and grab some jpegs. The photo could be of someone performing the service, or a customer receiving the service. It could even be a picture of the machines you use to provide the service.
The most important thing with images is DO NOT EMBED THEM into your Word documents, because Word will compress the files. They look great in the document, but when your developer extracts them, they will display as a grainy mess. Provide your developer with the original jpeg images as separate files inside the folder.
There is some more important info on photos at the end of this article.
3. About Page Tips
Now do the same process for the About folder. Add a Word document, call it about.doc. Type in your content and save it. Then add some images to the folder, just like you did for the services folder.
Good examples of images for your about page could be a photograph of your happy, smiling receptionist, or a picture of your building.
You may want your about page to be more than just a page about your business, you could also add in your business philosophy, experience, the principles you follow, certifications your have, or recent achievements and awards. Anything which proves you’re an authority in your industry will be a good fit for your about page.
Bios can also work on your about page. You could have a few brief snippets about your staff members; list their specialties, their accomplishments, or anything that displays their skills and expertise and inspires consumer confidence. And if everyone is on board, you add photos of each staff member as well.
The about page should be starting to fill out nicely by now, but remember, you’re aiming for at least 300-words, preferably more.
4. Contact Page
Your contact page is important, and your designer needs it ALL the information you can provide. So don’t leave anything out.
Start with the Word.doc (call it contact.doc) and include your name (business name), address (mailing and physical), phone number (business, cell phone, fax, 800 number, etc.).
Include your email address as well. The email address may not be displayed anywhere on your website, but your designer will need it for the contact form.
Other things to include would be links to your social media profiles such as YouTube, Facebook, or wherever else you maintain a social presence.
Add in some images. The outside of your building is a good one because it provides a visual aid if someone is navigating to your business via Google Maps. Plus, your designer may include a map on the contact page as well.
5. Home Page
Home pages are a little different because they tend to be portals into the rest of the site. You will have a banner at the top and below that an intro/welcome message with an accompanying image.
The intro content should be 50-100 words.
For the most part, the rest of your home page will be content from your other pages that your designed will likely repurpose as short “calls to action”.
So, make a folder called Home and add your Word doc and images.
6. Other Important Details
Sometimes you will need to go into more detail when creating your pages. Say you have a products page. You will have your products folder and an accompanying products.doc. Products one, two, and three will each have their own description.
For example’s sake, let’s say you sell turbines. To the average web designer, all turbines will probably look the same. If you sell five turbines and have a photo for each one, chances are your designer won’t know which is which.
So when your writing your product description, add some brackets at the end of the paragraph and include the exact image name inside the brackets that relate to the specific product. Like this [imgturbine1.jpg].
This way, your designer won’t have to guess which image goes with which product description.
7. More About Images
Image size is critical. Don’t send small thumbnail images to your designer, as there are very few locations where they can use them.
Image sizes should be at least 1920 pixels wide x 1280 pixels high. If in doubt, just remember 2,000 pixels wide and you will be providing an image your developer can do something with.
Your Designer Will Thank You
When you provide your content in the format described above, you make it easier for your designer to complete your new website in a timely manner. Which is a win-win for everybody.