In smaller websites, the principal content creator and web designer tend to be the same person. However, in most larger websites,content creation and web design are usually handled by different teams or individuals.
When you’re operating at scale, separating content creation and web design makes sense. Content creators are seldom professionally competent at web design and few web designers can consistently create good content. Working together, professional content creators, web designers, and other digital marketers can create very high-quality websites much more efficiently than even the most talented individuals can manage when working alone.
But while efficient from an operations management perspective, the separation of content and web design can cause a lack of cohesion that may lead to problems for the website and the business. For this reason, collaboration in web design and content creation is a must for maintaining a high-performance website.
Here’s why you shouldn’t put major divides between your site’s content creation and web design:
1) Collaborative Content Creation and Web Design Helps Branding
Close collaboration between content creators and web designers is needed for the website to stay on brand. Branding is critical for developing trust, recognition, customer loyalty, and value for a company. Any deviation from a set brand caused by web designers and content creators going their own way may confuse potential customers and damage the business.
If web designers, content creators, and other website stakeholders are put in different buckets, it can be difficult for them to collaborate closely. If they don’t work effectively with each other, it can be all too easy for the website to drift off-brand. When this happens, the business’s messaging will start to lack cohesion, which ultimately weakens the trust and recognition a business needs to earn customers.
This is especially serious because how a business appears online also affects it offline. If the business has an offline presence, the loss of online trust and recognition may be felt there as well. By working closer together, web designers and content creators can ensure that the website stays on brand and continues to create value for the business across all its channels.
2) Integrating Content and Design Improves Conversions
The main purpose of most websites is to elicit some kind of response from visitors. For business websites, the main goal is to convert visitors to leads or paying customers. Websites with cohesive content and design usually appear more trustworthy to visitors, which tends to translate into better conversion rates.
Web designers and content creators have unique but convergent responsibilities in encouraging conversions. Content creators create the assets that engage visitors while designers create elements that encourage them to perceive and interact with the site in specific ways. Working together, the content creators and web designers can build a superior user experience (UX), resulting in more sales and leads.
On the other hand, if web designers and content creators are not working from the same playbook, the website they maintain may begin to lose cohesion, consequently leading to a loss of trust. If not managed, this loss of trust can lead to a deterioration in the website’s ability to engage visitors and convert them to qualified leads or customers.
3) Combining Content and Design Helps Search Engine Optimization
Poor integration between content and web design also has implications for search engine optimization (SEO). There is reason to believe that Google ranks websites based on metrics that may be related to engagement and UX. As mentioned earlier, a lack of cohesion between site elements can lead to a loss of engagement which, in turn, may lead to reduced search engine visibility.
Having web designers and content creators work closer together should result in more engaging landing pages that send positive signals to Google’s search engine bots. In turn, higher-ranking landing pages should result in more organic traffic, better brand recognition, improved trust, and better conversion rates.
4) Web Design Serves to Increase the Value of Content
Web design can make content more visually appealing to users. More importantly, it can have a major effect on the readability and authority of a given piece of content, affecting how well it’s able to engage and win over visitors.
According to the UX consulting firm Nielsen Norman Group, design quality is one of the four ways that a website communicates trustworthiness, with the others being up-front disclosure, comprehensive and current content, and connection to the rest of the web.
This is all to say that, no matter how accurate your content is, without good web design it will be difficult to make people trust it. For instance, even if it had articles written by the most respected medical researchers in the world, it would be hard to trust a medical website that uses Comic Sans.
In a perfect world, font choices should not affect trust. However, in reality, even seemingly minor things like fonts, color choices, layouts, and sizes of different web elements all contribute to how we perceive the information we discover online.
Web designers, therefore, serve a key role in elevating the authority of the content within their sites. By the same token, content creators should provide the site’s visitors with engaging pieces that match the expectations set by the site’s designs.
Content may be king, but it’s web design that gives it its authority. For this reason, the teams responsible for the site’s front end should be in step with each other. By removing operational barriers that separate web design and content teams, website owners can better ensure that the content that is published on their online properties directly serves their branding as well as their other business goals.
To talk to web designers and content writers who can elevate your brand, contact SearchWorks.PH. Our team of design and content experts will be glad to assist you.