If you’re a web designer at some point you’re going to hear the phrase “content is king”. You’re going to be told you need a strong online content strategy, and you’ll want to do that. If you’re a client, you’re going hear your web designer mention something about the content of your website. They might even mutter the “content is king” phrase. This is about as far as this will go for most people with limited budgets.
“Our website needs more photos!”
Someone will say this. It’ll either be the designer or the client, but someone will say, “the website needs more photos.” Now, there are two different reasons why the designer may need some photos. This could be for products or the layout of the site, in which case, they probably need more photos. They could also be asking for it for the same reason a client would: to fill space or create visual interest. Photos and photo collages are really just digital rugs for you to cover up the pet stains.
I assure you, more photos will not improve your website
When I hear a client say, “Our website should have more photos!” I hear, “Our website isn’t interesting.” And they’re probably right. So really, people are asking, “Will more photos make my website more interesting?” The answer is most assuredly “No”.
The website probably isn’t very interesting or dynamic. But more photos will not fix that. Collages most certainly won’t help (I hate collages with a passion I can only describe as religious). People already go to Facebook and Instagram for constantly changing photos. Slapping a photo gallery you’ll update once or twice a year isn’t going to cut it.
If the client says that, the designer’s job is to explain the deeper problem, propose a plan, and run with it. Sometimes we’ve proposed ideas to make sites a little more interesting, but the time commitment to actually writing content for a site on an ongoing basis goes nowhere. If a web designer proposes more photos in galleries to “make things interesting” and “bring back visitors”, show them this post.
So what do we do about website content?
This is actually one of those problems that’s very easy to solve, but won’t, because it requires time and money. But here’s the answer: write stuff.
If you’re the client, you need to work with your design team or a content person to write stories, articles, share news, and be your cheerleader. This could be anything from sharing recipes to how-to articles or features on local people or workers. This takes time and costs money.
If you’re the designer, you need to work with your client to write stories, article, share news, and be their cheerleader. This could be anything from sharing recipes to how-to articles or features on local people or workers. This takes time and costs money.
If time or money is not available, in any capacity, then you should be prepared for a website that isn’t going to attract a ton of traffic or repeat visitors. But no, you can’t fix that with some photos of kids eating watermelon or a cat riding on the back of the dog. Best case is the client has to pick up the job of writing content. If they don’t want that, then they’ll either have to pay for it or accept the reality of not having an interesting site.