Your web content strategy

 You start preparing your website with a vision of and purpose. Your next step is to prepare content to add in the right places; content that is meaningful to your audience.

It’s happened before: an owner of a new website thinking that the job is done once the site goes live. However, it doesn’t take long for most content to go stale, out-of-date — not a good look if your site is purposed to market what you do with good audience engagement.  Bring on a content strategy.

Maintaining relevant, useful and current content requires an effective strategy to ensure fresh content presents in a timely way to inform and promote what you do. We’re all keen to find new stuff online that’s relevant to the here and now — whether it’s about a sale you’re running for 2 weeks, a new product that’s just been launched, or an idea that’ll go some way to make a difference to the community you live or work in.

In a perfect world, a content strategy is in place before your site goes live. But it’s never too late to put one in place. So, what is a content strategy?

Content strategy refers to the management of written, visual, downloadable media on your website. Developing a web content strategy takes into account:

  • Who is your audience?

  • What problems does your content solve, or what questions does your answer?

  • What channels will your content be published?

  • How will you manage your content creation? A content strategy includes:

  • Coordination and direction of meaningful content creation

  • Timely delivery of relevant content to people who are looking for it — so it’s in the right place at the right time

  • Decision-making about what content is relevant and for how long.

Content generally has a shelf life or at least it needs editing from time to time. A website is never finished, the work is never completely done … for long anyway. Websites are dynamic, they have to move with the times, and this is what makes them so interesting.

 A content strategy for a website helps provide the relevant information and functionality that makes your site meaningful for your audience.

So, it helps to integrate the following into your content strategy:

  • Planning Thinking ahead to what content you need to keep your website current, relevant, of interest to your audience. What content will be meaningful and helpful to your audience, and engage them? Ask others for feedback about your site.

  • Content audits Make sure that irrelevant or out-of-date pages are pulled from your live site — either deleted or archived.

  • Resources What expertise do you need to carry out your content strategy? Running a business takes time, we all need help with different tasks, and it’s important that everyone involved has defined roles. Has the copy handed to the web developer been edited? Or are you expecting that person to do this?

  • User-experience design Who are your end users? What are their content needs and preferences? How can you make content useful and usable to them, wherever and however they need it? Okay, you can’t please everyone all the time, but you can aim to please most of them most of the time.

  • Quality control Let’s face it, we all make mistakes — it’s important to enlist a ‘second-set-of-eyes’ to make sure your copy flows and reads well, that all the links are working as they should.

Applying a content strategy requires regular work but this comes with satisfaction. Especially when feedback from your audience/clients/users let you know how much they like your site, and analytics show that visitors are returning for more.

References:

usability.gov — Content Strategy Basics

Brain Traffic — Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots Between Disciplines