The existence of any website (or other internet-resource) is only justified if it is a success with its users. Website-promotion technologies are widely used to increase a site's traffic. But initial results should be achieved when the site is launched. If a website is to be popular with its users, it should meet these three basic criteria.
|Web content should be concise, interesting and understandable to the target audience.
|Web content should be well-designed and easy on the eye.
|Web content should be constantly updated, rather than remaining “static”.
Content is undoubtedly the most important part of any website. Having great thoughts and original ideas about what is going to be on your website is not enough. As with any information resource, how the material is presented to users is also of great importance.
How can client and contractor understand one another?
Based on our many years of experience on the market, we have come to understand that clear and accurate task formulation accounts for 70% of overall success when creating a new website and establishing effective cooperation between client and contractor. It is sometimes hard to achieve mutual understanding as clients may experience difficulties expressing exactly what they wish to achieve.
At EDISON we understand this and have come up with our own way of creating requirements specifications for website development. Our approach ensures complete and mutual understanding between the website developers and the client.
First, the client is asked to answer a few simple questions about the content of the new website. These answers serve as the starting point for highlighting the most important elements of the information product being created.
We then brainstorm ideas will make the content of the new website unique and different from that on thousands of other internet-resources. Each member of the project team is encouraged to express their opinion; with debate, argument and resolution leading logically to final conclusions and decisions. Clients are at the very heart of this process as it is they who will approve or reject the final concept generated.
We never force our opinion on our clients. When giving recommendations, we rely on our vast experience of successfully-completed projects. The principle of combining random website elements rarely produces functional sites. Only a well-planned system can guarantee that a new site will work well, satisfy the client and provide a competitive edge.
Later on we will take a look at the steps for creating all web content elements.
Corporate identity and style
Establishing a corporate style and identity is probably the most creative aspect of website development. Tasks can be difficult to formulate and messages hard to catch. As with all other site elements, the corporate style should provide information about the company, its working principles, etc. We can list a number of basic requirements which we use as guidelines when developing a corporate style for a client.
|This aspect takes in a range of notions; from the colour-scheme to the smallest design elements. The font size and colour, the type of feedback form – everything should be visually appealing and easy on the eye.
|Uniqueness and individuality
|The website should be different from thousands of other sites. Original web content and images is not enough. Ideally, the style of a website should arouse interest and curiosity in users by being both innovative and new.
|The chosen style should act as a link connecting all site elements.
Copy & text
Text is the primary content element as it bears the principal informative load. Site copy should be concise, clear and accessible to readers. It should also be both interesting and correct. To achieve this goal, our specialists employ a special 5-step procedure.
|A project manager makes an audio or text file containing all of his/her ideas about what the site should bring to its potential users. In theory, this can also be done by the client.
|A copywriter creates text content from this “raw material”; communicating the thoughts and ideas and turning them into clear, accurate statements.
|The text is then given to a third person, who is an expert in the given sphere. This specialist checks the text for knowledge-related errors while adding accuracy and distinctness to the statements and checking terminology usage where necessary.
|Then linguistics and proofreaders make their corrections and edit the text.
|The project manager then reads the text again and approves the final results using both the source text and all of the suggested corrections. Some of these corrections are rejected, while others are approved.
Graphics can also be considered part of corporate style. Where style represents the general concept, graphics make up its separate elements. Logos, icons, illustrative diagrams and charts, all kinds of characters, collages, pictures, etc. constitute the graphical aspect of site content. Images are often animated as this makes them more attractive to users.
Graphical content is developed by a team of professional graphic and technical designers, artists, retouch artists and flash-animators. Graphics should be visually flawless and have the appropriate technical characteristics, such as the file size, extension, compression ratio, etc. This is the only way to achieve consistency in style and technical performance throughout the site.
Photography is a universally recognised art form. Images should match the website concept, corporate style and general photo-viewing principles: they should be sharp, have correct colour depiction and the right composition. Our specialists use only top of the range professional photography equipment.
Every shot should be selected carefully. Some defects can be altered or removed during photo processing. All photographs should be retouched before publication.
SEO texts are important in determining website traffic. SEO is an English abbreviation meaning: “search engine optimisation”.
Anyone who has ever searched for something on the internet knows the basic search engine principle: you need to enter a word or phrase and click on “search”. You will then be presented with a list of websites which feature your keyword or phrase in their content.
For search engines to find your website faster, the chosen keywords or phrases must appear in your site content. Keyword selection depends on the client's target audience. Composing a list of these appropriate keywords requires in-depth market research and internet analysis using special tools.
Therefore, the peculiarity of SEO texts is that they contain different keywords and phrases that appear in texts with varying frequency and density. If added to a website, this material helps to accelerate resource indexation and improves search engine visibility for potential users. However, the overuse of keywords can lead to reduced traffic if users are bored by uninteresting or unnatural content.
To expand the potential audience of a website you need to translate the content into foreign languages. To make an adequate translation you need to start with a high-quality content sample. However, a sample is not enough. Few people understand that one translator cannot produce a perfect translation: native speakers of the given language will be able to tell the text has a foreign feel to it and contains non-native errors. We will describe the procedure for creating the best possible content translations.
|A glossary of specific terms and professional jargon is compiled. These words can then be used consistently throughout the text.
|A professional translator translates the text into the given foreign language.
|A native speaker checks and corrects the translation carefully. Only a qualified linguist with appropriate experience is suitable for this role.
|The project manager reads and approves the text.
High-quality content is what website creation is all about
Creating web content is a difficult task which demands technical skill, creativity, intuition, good taste and a sense of style. For this reason, it is best to entrust this type of work to a professional team of experts capable of handling each step of the content-creation process.
Unlike many companies on the market, at EDISON we have a great sense of responsibility for the work we do. We believe that projects can only be successful if content elements are carefully selected to work in harmony with one another.
When we say “high-quality content” we are not talking about subtle nuances visible only to the trained IT professional, but rather content that forms the meaning of the site itself and determines how effective it will ultimately be. If a website has the right content it not only exists in an abstract sense somewhere in cyberspace, but actually helps the company to achieve its goals.