An Inside Look Into Our Design Strategy
As you would have seen by now, our new website for Cornerstone Digital is up and running. You can see the post about our website rebranding here. For this particular article we wanted to focus on a few features of our new site which you may want to consider utilising on your own websites.
The term content siloing was coined by Bruce Clay, an Australian based online marketing expert. It originated as a way to identify the concept of grouping related information into distinct sections within a website. Just like in chapters in a book, a content silo represents a group of subject specific content on your site. This is good for SEO as search engines award ‘keyword’ relevancy based on how much supporting relevant content there is, serving to clarify your sites subject relevance.
Although our previous website did group content into the same areas (the website design service had its own page for example), what it lacked was the ability to be the ONLY destination for any website design related information. With our new site, not only gives you information about the inclusions and features when it comes to our website design services, it also provide details our process specifically within that service, testimonials from clients who have used that service before, and previews of portfolio pieces that utilised that service.
We have basically removed the need to visit multiple sections on the site to obtain the information you needed about one topic. In this way, each services page acts like its own landing page for anyone wanting to know about a particular service. Check out our website design page for an example of content siloing in action.
Content Horizontal Banding
Content horizontal banding is a loose term used to describe the use of colour ‘bands’ that span the entire width of a web page in order to break up content. Our execution of horizontal banding is slightly more offbeat, as we’ve used interesting diagonal lines. But the principals and the benefits are very much the same.
The use of horizontal bands in website design has been a popular trend over the last few years, and for good reason. Not only does the use of these horizontal strips provide specific containers for each page area, making your content look more orderly and broken up into more easily digestible sections, but it also spans right across the user’s monitor, making the most use of responsive web design techniques.
Another major reason we wanted to utilise content horizontal banding is to allow our content sections to be modular, allowing us to easily drop an existing band or section into a different page, or remove a section, without disrupting the rest of the page content. This particular feature allows us to keep our web content up to date more often and even help us perform conversion rate optimisation on our site.
You have probably come across a few websites by now that involve a background image moving at a slower rate to the foreground as you scroll down a page, giving a sense of depth and interaction. This design feature is called Parallax design. Although this particular site feature can just be considered ‘decoration’ and not as functional as the content horizontal banding and content siloing, there are still benefits to using it such as increased user engagement, visual appeal and the ability to control when content appears on the page to add an element of storytelling.
If you want to see parallax design in action, you can see this on all our website pages with the coloured content banded areas all utilising the 2D scrolling effect on the background images. You will also see it dictating when content begins to materialise as you scroll down the page. You can read more about Parallax design here.
Overall, the three techniques used were for the purposes of better SEO, increasing visual engagement and ultimately, increase conversions. Like any website though, we’ll monitor the stats, take on feedback and refine as necessary. It’s not perfect but we think it’s a great start!
Contact us if you’d like to review your own site and see how some of these techniques can be applied.
Meg is a Project Manager/Producer at Cornerstone with a special interest in conversion rate optimisation. She has a business analysis background and thinks the web would be a better place if everyone looked at their web statistics daily.