Unlock the Potential of Your Utility Website with Content Strategy
Websites have changed tremendously over the past decade. They have become the norm, whether it is for paying bills, getting information, viewing an account, or contacting your utility company.
Content from early websites were very text-heavy, cluttered, and overwhelming. Your trusted web experts at Powerful focus on a website that is engaging, up to date, and includes relevant content. There are a variety of different ways of improving your utility website.
The powerful keys to unlock your utility website to its full potential:
Apply the Inverted Pyramid Method
Eye tracking research has shown that people scan web pages in different patterns, the most common being the F-shaped pattern. One of our best practices is to always follow the inverted pyramid method when refreshing your website. In addition, we also rearrange your websites content to keep your site visitors engaged and to create a more cohesive look.
The inverted pyramid consists of 3 focus points:
- Top (Most important content)
- Middle (Supporting details or content that is the next most important)
- Bottom (Content that is the least important)
Optimize Your Content
Do looks matter? For websites, they do! Site visitors will immediately form a first impression on your website and will spend less than a few seconds on the site before they decide to stay or leave. Which means that a lack of great content and organization of your site structure may be detrimental. Site visitors rarely read your content word by word, they expect to immediately find what they are looking for. If they do not find what they require, site visitors will lose interest and leave. Our team of content strategists optimizes your website’s content to fit the needs of your site visitor at your cooperative or utility organization.
We can high-touch your content and break down the wall of words by:
- Getting rid of all the jargon
- Extracting the meaningful content
- Creating an outline approach
We recently high-touched and added visual elements for a proposed design for Roanoke Cooperative in North Carolina. It is a perfect example of how we put the content in bullet points to make it easier to scan. This example shows an extra added sprinkle of magic with iconography and some rewording for simplified reading as well.
Original design on home page
After the high touch and thoughtful design touches
Pay attention to Grammar & Tone
It is important to understand your audience and who it is that you are writing for. A website that has grammatical errors can make it difficult to translate and create a negative impact on the credibility of the site. It can also hinder the screen readers from reading properly and give the site visitor a negative experience.
Our team improves the content on your utility website by following our common best practices. A sneak peek at our website content best practices:
- Avoid written numbers with numerals in parenthesis. For example: four (4). The screen readers will read this number twice which can be confusing, instead use the numeral when possible.
- Use proper grammar and punctuation.
- Use fraction and percent symbols instead of the word. The goal is to save space and make it easier to scan.
- Write with an active voice by using pronouns. This will create a connection with your site visitor and keep them engaged. For example: “You can make an online payment”.
Use Media Effectively
Media content is successful and effective for your utility website when used efficiently. You can use different media such as: infographics, images and videos. There are 3 things you should always keep in mind when adding media content into your website.
Always be aware of:
- Web accessibility
- Copyright and licensing
- Media responsiveness
Videos and images have grown to be incredibly popular, they provide important messages in a manner that require little to no effort. Although, they are convenient to your site visitors there’s always the possibility that the media will not work if uploaded improperly.
One of our best practices consists of making sure that the images are high quality and are the correct standard color space for the internet (sRGB). The image will not look appealing to the eye if was uploaded with the incorrect color space. For example, CMYK images will look dull and will seem off.
We recommend not uploading images to your website that contain text embedded in them when possible. Images that contain text prevent that text from being indexed by search engines, translation tools are not able to translate them, you will not comply fully with accessibility standards and the image will potentially auto-crop on a mobile device which may cut off words or cause the site visitor to have to “pinch and zoom” their way through the content embedded into the image. Read about our STAR Standard to find out more about ensuring you are taking a socially responsible approach to content.
The video platforms that are commonly used are YouTube and Vimeo. A reliable way of adding a video to your utility website is by using the embedded code that YouTube and Vimeo offer.
You can simply go to the video on YouTube or Vimeo, and take these following steps:
- Go to “share”
- Click “Embed”
- Copy the iframe code
- Paste it to your site (typically in the text tab of your Powerful page editor)
Then you’ll be good to go!
Keep your website Mobile Responsive
We have the world at the tip of our fingers! Our mobile devices have exponentially evolved to the point that we are now able to search and find anything that we desire. Which is why mobile responsiveness being an absolute must for all utility websites. Mobile responsiveness is when a website responds to the size of the screen on which it is being displayed on. When a site is not mobile friendly you will often have to zoom in to read content which may lead to accidental clicks and confusion.
Your trusted experts from the Powerful team check on whether your website is mobile responsive or not by using the Developer Tools. We access this by going to your utility website:
- Right clicking anywhere on the page
- Select inspect
- Click on the Device toggle bar icon (At the top left corner)
- Click on the “Dimensions: Responsive” drop down menu
- Select an Android or iOS device to view
The Piece of the Recipe
Wait, there’s more! Our team of trusted web experts will share the hidden key. We work our magic behind the scenes and our team builds your vision by adhering to one of the most important keys, the STAR Standard.
- (S) Searchable – Easy to find and easy to use
- (T) Translatable – Readable and understandable for translation tools
- (A) Accessible – Equal access to content for everyone
- (R) Responsive – Adaptable to any screen
We focus on creating a memorable online experience for your site by following the inverted pyramid method, paying attention to grammar and tone, using media, making sure that your utility website is mobile responsive, and using the STAR Standard as a guide. We have handed the keys over to you. What are you waiting for? You can implement all these tips to your utility website or just a few. It’s all about what works best for you!