If you’ve ever sold a house — or, for that matter, bought one — then you know how essential curb appeal is. The moment someone drives up to a home, what he or she sees from the street tells the person a lot about the property.
The interior may be better or worse than the potential buyer’s expectations, but the first impression formed by the home’s curb appeal creates a significant obstacle to overcome.
In a way, it could be argued that “curb appeal” matters just as much in web design and content marketing. From the moment a visitor glimpses a piece of content — whether it’s a landing page, blog post, infographic, or whatever else your brand presents to the world online — the person is automatically forming opinions about the brand behind that content.
Of course, it’s vital that your content is substantive, but a failure to observe the significance of curb appeal (in other words, visual presentation) will inevitably damage your conversion goals. In order to be successful, you have to give this facet of your content marketing strategy serious thought.
Four Tips for Creating More Appealing Content
Just as we are told to spruce up the landscaping, pressure wash the siding, and stage the entryway of a house before putting it on the market, you should pay attention to how your content might appear to your audience and do everything within your power to make it enticing. Here are four practical tips.
1. Go Easy on the Eyes
When you compare websites in the late 90s to websites today, there are so many distinctions, they’re almost impossible to count. But one of the more significant has been the shift away from bright colors and distracting design elements toward minimalism or greater simplicity.
When you develop content or design a webpage, ask yourself this question: Is it easy on the eyes? You can make any page more aesthetically pleasing by incorporating more white space, relying on images instead of text, and using a simple color scheme.
The Rotate website is a good example of design that’s easy on the eyes.
2. Break Up the Text
One of the biggest mistakes you can make — especially in the current trend toward bite-sized content — is to overwhelm users with large chunks of text. As soon as most people see dense paragraphs and a steady stream of text, they’re going to disengage and hit the back button.
There’s nothing wrong with putting lots of information on a page in the form of text (long-form content is honestly pretty popular right now), but you should try to find ways to break it up and provide visual relief. The Salvi, Schostok, & Pritchard website is a good example. The firm uses a variety of visual elements to inform without overwhelming.
3. Limit the Sales Pitch
People are tired of being pitched all the time. They don’t appreciate being sold over and over again.
It’s all right to include a call to action and/or an opt-in form within a piece of content, but limit the sales pitch and focus on adding value. Not only does this build trust with the audience, but it usually results in a greater visual symmetry.
4. Focus on Above-the-Fold Design
Every individual element matters, but if you’re going to put more focus and energy into one portion of a web page, make sure you prioritize above-the-fold design. This is what people see first, so it’s what will have the most long-lasting impact.
Create a Positive First Impression
Whether you’re shopping for a house or reading a blog post, first impressions have considerable influence over the judgments of the human brain and, for better or worse, often dictate the attitudes an individual develops toward the subject.
Make sure you’re doing your content marketing a favor by placing an emphasis on visual appeal.