It’s August 13th, my head is spinning and I’m crazy wore out. But I’m not hung-over. It’s those bloggers, man. I just spent two days at the annual Blog Indiana conference, immersed in content marketing tips and strategies. The idea was to take off my web design hat for a moment to get an idea of the new strategies I’ll soon be working with.

You might think there’s little to learn about web design from blog writers and Internet stats junkies. But the art of web design is not about getting “the look” just right, it’s about getting a look that complements the content. It’s important to consider what’s being written about so you can plan to frame it effectively. That’s why we talk with our clients about their content before starting the design phase. So it made sense to learn the latest content strategies from the best of the Indianapolis internet marketing community.

The biggest shift to affect small business marketing is the move towards “helpfulness” and even further from sales pitches.

This means business brands should pursue content strategies that help consumers out. Blog posts, tweets and other content should be other-centered, not necessarily self-promotional. The idea is to build-up a trusting relationship by helping consumers find useful information. When they are ready to buy, customers come to you first because they trust you the most.

Writers and content marketing specialists are still working out the best ways to implement this idea. But I see a few common-sense ways to design a “helpful” website.

  • Enable your website’s internal search bar and organize your navigation items to minimize the need to search. Many popular websites already use this feature. Learn why more people expect you to have it.
  • Use comparison tables to display your pricing and service options.
  • Appeal to multiple learning styles by offering the same content in a variety of formats (text, video, slideshow, etc.). This is more of a content marketing concept, but your web design has to be ready to present these types of content.

I’ll be exploring these three web design elements and concepts later on. Look for the compass icon on future posts about this topic. And be sure to check back for  summaries and comments from Allison, Lorraine and Tina.

How does your website stack up? Is it transforming visitors into prospects or turning them off with bad design, poor navigation or simply no conversion opportunities?

Check our our new Mini eBook on Why People Hate Your Website to discover simple ways to to make your website work for you.