If you had to make a list of all the various factors that contribute to website launch delays, a few common culprits would likely spring to mind instantly. The design isn’t finalized. Something is wrong with the code. You’re having domain troubles. The list goes on and on.
But the fact of the matter is that the number one reason for website launch delays is also, shockingly, the factor that people don’t think about until it’s far too late:
Your website design can be objectively perfect. Everything is laid out exactly the way you need. But if you don’t have the content necessary to populate that site, your web presence is finished before you’ve even truly had a chance to begin.
Why Content Matters
Simply put, the content that populates your website is critical for a number of different reasons – some of which are obvious and some of which are less so.
First, the content on your site immediately gives a boost of adrenaline to your general brand reputation, giving you an opportunity to build trust and establish yourself as an authority. It’s also a way to begin a direct connection between you and the people you’ve dedicated yourself to serving. They’re not coming to your site out of the kindness of their hearts. They have questions, you’re supposed to have the answers. Or at least, that’s what your content is actually for.
Never forget that according to one recent study, a full 78% of customers say that they’d rather get to know a company via blog posts, articles and other helpful pieces of content than with ads. Another 70% of people say that organizations that provide quality custom content – like via a presentation maker, a scatter plot maker or even in the form of video collateral through a service like Uscreen – are interested in building solid relationships with them.
Based on all of this, it’s easy to see why content is the major reason why website launches get delayed more often than not. If you don’t have this mission critical element… what do you have, exactly? You might have a great logo and a sleek color palette, but that isn’t going to carry you quite as far as you probably think it will.
What You Can Do About It
If you want to make sure that this is one trap you do not fall into as a brand and as a business, the most immediate thing you need to do is sit down and come up with a thoughtful, organic and compelling content strategy to guide your efforts.
This is more than just a map of what you’re going to publish and when – although those elements are indeed very helpful. Instead, think of it a bit more like a roadmap. It’s the tool that you’ll use to go from “where you currently are” to “where you want to be” in terms of your marketing.
But more than that, it’s a resource that you can constantly use to guide your actions. It’ll help make sure that all content feels like it’s coming from the same place, giving you an opportunity for a deeper level of substance and coherency than you would otherwise have.
When you have a content strategy to use as something of a “North Star,” so to speak, it’ll also help make sure that everything you’re creating is actually relevant to the audience you’re going to be speaking to.
A content strategy helps you do more than just publish enough content to get your website ready for launch. It’s also how you create a connection between your business and your audience, playing to their emotions and transforming their experience along the way.
By paying every bit as much attention to your content strategy for your website as you do to the design of that same site, you’re accomplishing a few different things at once. First, you’re making sure that you’ll have enough content will in advance of your website launch to actually get it off the ground and onto the devices of people around the world. But beyond that, you’re also making sure you always have a steady stream of content to deliver something fresh and new to those very same people as often as you can.
That’s how you take a prospective customer and turn them into a loyal follower as efficiently as possible. In the end, what could be more important than that?
About the Author
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.