If every element of your website's content is a piece of decoration, think about it this way: you want to use both pieces that are necessary, and pieces that add your personal flavour.
When it comes to video, audio and images for your website, it starts with learning where and when they're used.
1. Images and videos
Images and videos are important elements of content that assist the visual aesthetics of your website.
They’re crucial in creating a website design that is attractive, captivating, and delivers your message effectively. Since websites mainly exist in a visual realm, images are the number one stimulant for a customer’s engagement.
Images and videos for websites are used to sell, encourage, and break up content.
Using images for websites is a great way to assist the purpose of your website – so learning exactly where their place is will help you use them effectively.
- If your website is used for selling: images and videos will advertise and accurately depict your products. You’ll need images that show the important features to your product, so your customer is confident in purchasing off your site.
Videos of products are also becoming popular among e-commerce websites. They provide 360° views and can be used to provide a more realistic shopping experience.
- If your website is used for advertising: images and videos are the best way to display your work and to showcase what you can do. Include pictures that show the service your company provides.
Videos can also add personalisation. They’re both useful in giving insight to your industry, and helping customers further understand what you can provide.
- If your website is used for educating: images and videos can be used to break up wordy pages and help encourage engagement. Your website is essentially like a book, so readers will look for the same things.
This means pictures will engage your reader. Using a website to share your information gives you an advantage, because you’ve also got the potential to add videos – more exciting content.
Who can do this?
There are several options when it comes to sourcing images and videos to use on your website. You’ve always got to be careful with copyright, so for website newbies in particular: you can’t use just any image you find on the internet (that could be illegal).
1. Create the content yourself
For small businesses and personal website owners in particular, this is probably a great, easy way to go about sourcing your photos.
If they’re acting to sell your product or advertise your service, it’s going to be really beneficial to use photos and create videos that are unique to your business.
2. Source free images
If you’re looking for images for your website but you don’t need any personalisation, finding free images online is one way to go.
This is often the case with personal website owners, or for businesses who include articles and blogs on their website. Make sure you’re looking at trustworthy websites like Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay, where you won’t run into any copyright problems.
3. Pay a professional
Paying a professional to take photos for your website or create a video will give you a professional edge. However, as the paid option, you might want to take a good look at your budget and costs first.
Often, web designers work with photographers. Using agencies is a great way to take the work off your hands and get help in every department. So it suits businesses who don’t have the resources to spare.
‘Copy’ is the words of your website. It’s the integral ingredient that just can’t be missed out. So give it some attention.
It’s also the main thing that helps you get found on google. SEO (search engine optimization) is basically all drawn from the words you use on your website.
You’ll probably notice that websites with terrible grammar, spelling, and poor writing in general, just don’t make you feel like you’re visiting a trustworthy website. It’s important you’re using it to effectively deliver customers all the information they need.
Copy is used to convince and teach.
Smart, clear, and engaging copy is a strong player in getting your message across and getting your website found with SEO. You’ll need to know how to appropriately utilize its power.
- If your website is used for selling: copy is used to explain your product and your business. When customers are making a purchase online, they look for detail. So, it’s the strong force driving your sales.
It’s necessary to explain with clear and concise text exactly what you’re selling. While pictures can sell the product, copy is the player in persuasion.
- If your website is used for advertising: copy will convince your customers that they need your service. While pictures can be used to show your company and your work, copy is the companion used to explain and elaborate.
It’s your chance to give your business’s voice, room to speak too. It also allows for customer testimonials.
- If your website is used for educating: copy is what you use to teach your audience. This means that for personal website owners, you’ll be doing the majority of the writing.
The text must be both engaging and informative. And to build up the trust of your audience, your copy needs to be regular and consistent.
Who can do this?
Valuable yet often overlooked, the strength of your copy could attract or deter your customers. Make sure you’re picking the right option for your business, delivering strong copy that channels the power to convince.
1. Write yourself
Hone in your old fashioned writing skills! For personal website owners looking to educate this is probably the only choice – after all, it will make up the body of your website.
But for business owners, be aware that writing copy is often trickier than it looks. And it requires knowledge of how SEO works. It’s completely different writing online than it is for off-line. Keep in mind that copy has to be clear, concise, and delivered with purpose.
For small business with less money in their budget, approaching a freelancer is a good option to get professional, sound copy written for your website. Whether you’re looking to sell or advertise, freelancers will be able to get that message across.
If you find freelancers through word of mouth, use a website like LinkedIn to verify them. Website designers might know freelancers too.
3. Copywriting agency
Approaching a copywriting agency is something many businesses and companies do. It takes the work off your hands, and you’re enlisting in the help of professionals who know how to write with purpose. They’re also the brains behind effective SEO.
Part of their job is discovering your purpose too, so this is a great option for businesses and companies who don’t have the skills or resources to do it themselves.
If you’re looking to educate on your website, professionals can also help with this and create well-researched articles that are written skillfully.
Audio is an often overlooked, but potential stimulant in website design. It’s not entirely necessary, but something that can create a bit of an environment for your website.
Audio is used to encourage, stimulate and guide your customers.
Whether selling, advertising or educating, incorporating audio into your website is an option you could consider through:
- Adding audio to videos
- Providing audio clips
- Adding an optional playlist
How can do this?
Audio and music is a simple way to add flavour to your website and speak of your business. And it doesn’t generally require any professional help.
1. Record audio yourself.
Cheap and simple, recording audio to incorporate to your website is a good way to be cost efficient with your resources. Make sure to speak with a clear voice, from a direct and concise script.
You’ll need recording software – that can often be found for free online – and good quality equipment.
2. Incorporate a music player to your website.
An easy way to add music to your website, incorporating a music player is simple. You can create playlists from websites like Soundcloud or Spotify, and then upload them.
How much is enough?
When working with web content, you want to make sure you strike the right balance.
Think of it this way; if you’re decorating your dining room, you’re not going to match a big dining table with one chair, right? Just like preparing for a dinner party, you need enough “furnishings” on your website to serve your guests - or rather, customers. A website with the right balance of media and content will entice your customers to take a seat and stay.
This means that each element of your content should compliment the others.
It can be a bit difficult to work out, which is why enlisting in the help of a professional to do your website design can help. But if you’re doing it yourself, here are some things you need to know:
- Make sure you have enough photos to accurately display your product. But not too much of the same thing. If a customer is looking at 5 relatively similar photos of a dress, you’re probably doing a better job of selling the model than the dress.
- Copy should get your point across, but not be unnecessarily. No need to add too many words that won’t captivate anyone. But you also need enough to give all the information a customer needs, and to effectively work for SEO.
- Your audio needs to compliment and encourage, not distract. Having music in the background and clips available to be played is great, but too much can be overwhelming. Use it with videos that require sound, or on pages where music can stimulate. But not on every single one.
Re-using your content
If your website isn’t the only platform you use for your business, then you’ve got a bit of an advantage. Photos, videos, audio and copy are all resources that can be dispersed to benefit other areas of your business and establish a consistent brand.
The content you create for your website can be reused on other advertising platforms.
So if you’re putting effort into creating content that’s smart and effective, your website doesn’t need to be the only thing that uses it. Bear in mind, you want to avoid having duplicate content across your website (as Google doesn't like this!)
Re-using your content on other platforms works to create consistent messaging – which strengthens and work to effectively advertise your company’s brand.
Photos, videos, and copy can all be reused on other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or advertising online and in print:
- Photos and videos can be posted on other social media platforms and link to pages of your website.
- Copy can be used as snippets in advertising to give a taste of what your website will include.
- Audio can be used to pair with photos and videos on social media. Recordings can also be posted and used online if you’re working with other websites like youtube.
Your content is valuable, personable, and it’s yours. While it makes up your website, it’s also key in creating the voice of your business – so make sure it’s heard!
Know your content, and find it's theme
Hopefully you’re now fairly familiar with what you need to use to create the perfectly decorated website.
It requires a bit of working with balance, and knowing what’s going to work best where.
Website design doesn’t have to be entirely up to you. But even if you are enlisting in the help of a professional, it's still necessary to know what you want to include and what you’ll need to provide for that. So knowledge on your contents is vital.
But have you thought about the link between them?
There’s one more thing that you might need to think about when creating your content – but it’s not little.
It’s the great unifying factor between all elements of your website, and we call it your brand.