In the modern age, it’s absolutely critical that every company (and even many individuals) have a website to showcase their work to the world. It can be incredibly difficult to decide what belongs on that website, but making the right decision can definitely pay off big time when it comes to attracting an audience.

The most important kind of content on most websites is informational posts with text. In particular, text that answers specific questions for your audience tends to be the most effective. Well-written text can boost traffic on any website.  Adding relevant images, videos, & tools can reinforce the text.

But what exactly makes the text so effective? It isn’t flashy, and sometimes it’s even less useful for communication than a couple of pictures would be. Are there times when text is ineffective on a website? Let’s dive into the nuances of what kind of content belongs where.

Answering Questions

First and foremost, pretty much every website exists to answer questions. Think about the most successful websites on Earth: Google, Wikipedia, Youtube. All of these websites are in the business of answering specific questions for their audience.

The way Google does that is through a search engine, while Wikipedia and YouTube use a large amount of user-generated content, but regardless of how they go about answering questions, that is what they do.

If you’re running a promotional website, the questions you’ll be answering are things like “where is this business located?” “How much do services cost?” and “Is this product worth buying?” If you’re running a blog, these questions might be more specific to the topic of your sites. The question you answer could be as vague as “Why does this website exist?”

Either way, answering these questions is your first job as a web designer, so the answer to the question of what kind of content is the most important is whatever content will answer the questions your audience is asking.

The best way to answer the questions that people will be asking when they get to your website is just to tell them with words. A picture or a video may be able to do this job fine depending on the site, but the easiest way to answer these questions will nearly always be a few lines of well-written text that just states the answer.

This text doesn’t need to be super long. If your website is a photography website, for instance, you might not need more than a few lines of information about yourself and your business and the rest of the website can be all pictures.

If your website is meant to promote a local business, the text describing it might be accompanied by maps showing its location and photographs of people enjoying the business’s services. However, the text must be emphasized so that people will read it and understand what you have to offer.


According to a poll done by Search Engine Journal, 40% of people who are searching the internet prefer text to any other form of media. A further 35% prefer video, and about 25% prefer static images, and almost no one is looking for audio (sorry podcasters.)

This data is supported by a study that we did in-house on several successful websites ranging from the most popular non-search engine sites to personal sites that were especially memorable.

What we found was that the vast majority of websites that were seen as effective had at least some emphasis on text. Here is a selection of data points from that investigation that we found to be especially illustrative.

Website Topic Primary Secondary Social Justice Text Interactive Film Multimedia Video Various Image Text Cannabis Image Text
Wikipedia Encyclopedia Text Image Social Media Video Audio Personal Text Image Personal Multimedia Text Personal Image Text Photography Image Text

While only three of these ten websites have text as their primary form of media, all but two find the use of text critical to their plan. The two exceptions were Youtube, which is primarily a video-sharing social media site, and, which is primarily a film production company.

The biggest takeaway we got from this research was that having good text can make or break even very visually oriented websites, although some websites do call for emphasis on some other kind of media.

As a rule, the more visual your work is, the more you’ll want to lean on imagery with minimal (but still functional) writing. On the other hand, the more focused you are on information, the more important it will be to have effective text, and a lot of it.

You may also be justified in having your website focus on video content, although we would caution against this as YouTube has control over an enormous amount of the video-sharing market. This means that your website is unlikely to come up anywhere on search results for related terms since the video results are dominated by YouTube on pretty much every platform.

Because of this, if you want to build a video portfolio, you’ll either need to have it as a YouTube channel or supplement the videos on your site with relevant text-based information such as bios, descriptions of your artistic vision, or other tidbits about your work to make it a bit more searchable.

But this is something that on some level you already probably knew. Photographers needing pictures on their website isn’t really a hot take in the 21st century. What you might find more insightful is something else that we noticed while we were looking through these websites.


Having your website be easily navigable isn’t really a type of content, but it is something that your content needs to have in order to shine. Earlier, we mentioned the website That website won an award for the best-designed website in 2012, but because their website is difficult to navigate on mobile, it hasn’t really stood the test of time.

Even though the website looks fantastic, it was really hard to look at for more than a few minutes at a time because it was just so difficult to get the information that we wanted.

For your website, no matter what kind of content you’ll be focused on, you’ll need to have adequate navigational resources so that anyone who ends up on your website will be able to understand its layout within a few seconds of seeing it for the first time.

Using a website building service like Weebly or Wix can help with this, as most people are familiar with the templates they use. However, this tactic can be a double-edged sword especially in the case of Wix, as Wix sites tend to look generic and a little boring to more savvy readers.

What To Write?

What you should be writing on your website depends entirely on the kind of website it is. We’ve mentioned before that websites that are promoting a local business will primarily want descriptions of that business’s products, services, or values. On the other hand, a portfolio may want to spend more time describing the personal history and artistic process.

Either way, remember that your goal is to answer the questions that your readers have about you! That means knowing your audience well enough to anticipate their questions is very important to keep them engaged and guide them to the information that they came to the website for.

When deciding what to write about, ask yourself a couple of these questions:

  • Do I know who will be reading this?
  • What relationship will they have with me? (ie customer, potential employer, professors, etc.)
  • Why are they looking me up?
  • How old are they?
  • Do they live near to me, or far away?
  • Is the audience more likely to be from a big city, or the country?
  • What kind of experience are they expecting from this website?

The more of their specific questions that the audience can find the answers to easily just by looking at the site, the more likely they are to want to do business with you again in the future. If content is king, then communication is queen.

If you are a blogger trying to optimize your website for search engines, you’ll have even more work to do than just this. SEO requires a particular set of skills that are as much about understanding the algorithm as they are about understanding your audience.

However, you can use a few of the same tools on the content of your optimized articles to think of useful subheadings to help keep readers engaged and make your writing feel more relevant to their personal needs.

Remember, if readers feel satisfied after their first visit to your website, they’re more likely to come back the next time they have a similar question that they need to be answered. The better you answer their questions, the more likely they are to be satisfied.

Visual Content

That all stands just fine for written content, but for many websites, the visual component is equally critical. Take a look at Whether you believe a cannabis company should be in business at all, you have to admit that their website looks fantastic. It was so good that it won multiple awards for design in 2019.

Color is extremely important here. A big part of making a visual design easy on the eyes is making sure that the colors all match in a way that draws the eye to where you want it to look without distracting.

For some websites, this might not be entirely feasible. If you have a large portfolio of differently colored pictures and you want to show them all, it can be very difficult to pick a color that doesn’t clash with any of them. In this case, you might want to make the base for your website black and white so that your pictures can stand well on your own.

If your website is for a restaurant, however, you can likely find a color palette that goes perfectly with the building’s internal decor, which can create quite a nice effect. The earlier mentioned uses a palate that matches with the color of their product’s packaging, which creates a nice effect as you scroll through their listings.

Some people just don’t have the talent for graphic design. You probably know if this is you. There’s no shame in hiring a freelancer to make your website look great.

Where To Find Help

We would love to tell you that help is easily available for free, and while there are certainly a number of great free companies for helping you format your websites, if you need help getting content, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

The people you’ll be looking for are most likely going to be graphic designers, photographers, and copywriters.

If you’re pressed for time or money, you can always hire a couple of each on Fiverr and pick between them. It’s hard to build a relationship with a Fiverr artist though, and if you’re going to need more work done in the future for these things, you might want to find a more established artist.

For copywriters, Odesk and Elance are both reputable markets to attach you with good people. For photographers, you can use or For graphic designers, 99designs is the only site we were able to find that was invested in aggregated freelancers.

You can also use sites like upwork or to get in touch with freelancers in any of these fields.

You can also explore this website for a little longer. We offer plenty of great advice for all sorts of web-design topics that can help you really pinpoint the exact content that you need. We’re happy to be able to provide you with all the information that we know, so stick around for a bit and see if you can find what you need!