You are currently working towards this big project to completely overhaul your website and your online marketing.
Your plans are to make all of your cross channel marketing completely seamless so that the off line and online activities of your company successfully connects your message with your customers, wherever they come from.
Every aspect of your website’s design has been talked through and you have your social channels set up, optimised and ready to go. You’re on schedule and your boss is extremely pleased with the work you have carried out and you know it’s going to be a big success.
Your website developer turns to you and informs you that your website is ready for content. Brilliant!
But FREEZE!! What content?
The content of your website has not yet been written, organised or in any way ready to go! *BREAKS SLAM* on your project (and it’s most likely a Friday afternoon).
What do you do?
- Delay the project whilst you write content? But then having your boss wonder why such a simple task was over looked in the first place?
- Swipe the content from another website? But then face the website getting blacklisted by search engines for duplicate content which results in all your hard work destroyed by penalties?
- Put together rashly written content that you know is not very good just to meet the deadline but then end up pushing a poor website live due to this? All leading to a very bad impression by those all important website visitors who might just never come back? And also your boss?
Unfortunately these kinds of scenarios are all too common. The creative buzz surrounding you when you are planning a website and thinking about the user experience causes many people to simply forget about the all important content.
Content is THE most important element of your website, content can make or break your website in ways that you can never imagine. Spending hours and thousands of pounds on a pretty design can all be pointless if you don’t have engaging and relevant content for your visitors.
So what do you do?
You plan your website content the right way from the very beginning!
To put you on the right path for organising the content on your new website then check out our five top tips for organising and planning content for your website below.
Tip #1 – Good old pencil and paper!
Get a pen and a sheet of paper and quite simply write down how the top menu and the drop downs or sub categories of your top menu are going to be. It is likely that you would have done this when you were looking at the UX of your website, but if not then this is a great place to start thinking about the UX of your website.
Once you have the top menu headings and the drop downs/sub categories of the website then you can break these up and start thinking about the content needed for each of these pages of your website individually.
Many people find it beneficial to start thinking about pages on their website first and then begin to group them into categories for the top menu. This ensures that plans are put in place to have the right content for your website and appropriately named Menu names.
This planning can highlight the need for FAQs pages for example to further explain certain elements of your service or product instead of pages in their own right. This will ensure that your navigation on site, as well as your content, is easy to navigate so that the visitor can find what they are looking for.
Categories of content needed can even be divided up and given to individual team members so that the work is spread evenly and has more resources to get done faster.
If you prefer to use tech for this then you can do the same thing on an excel spreadsheet or several other programs that allow for organisation. Whatever works for you.
With this plan you can speak to colleagues, customers and even friends to see whether your content format is actually logical and simple to follow. This format can then provide you with a fantastic blueprint going forward so that there is consistency across the website.
Tip #2 – Images!
It is often said that images can tell a thousand words, so why not use images to further express what your pages want to communicate to the customer.
The right image carefully placed in your content has the ability to draw more customers into the website and indeed stay on the website for longer.
Don’t write a page worthy of Shakespeare and the ruin it with a generic and uninteresting image. It needs to flatter the content and not work against it.
When planning your content ensure that you take the time to source the right image for the content, if none are available then ensure that by the time the website is finished that at least one image has been sourced.
Remember that unique images on your website will appeal far better than stock images ever will.
Tip #3 – Don’t forget the web!
When writing your content, don’t forget that it is for the web! Seems like a simple tip but you will be surprised by how often it is not followed.
The content on your website will be seen on a variety of different size monitors, tablets and phones. This means that you need to ensure that whatever device your content is seen on, that it looks right.
Can be as simple as ensuring that only short paragraphs are used, even small paragraphs of text will look huge on a mobile screen. Another good tip is to use sub-headings to break text up into small manageable chunks that even a skim reader can follow and get the jist of the page.
Never lose sight when you are planning this content, and then writing it, of the fact that this is content for a website and not a report that will be read on an A4 sheet of paper. The way it’s written needs to be made appropriate.
Tip #4 – Search Engine Friendly?
Nowadays there are many hoops to jump through to create the ideal content for your website; they include technical elements such as…
- Internal Linking
- ALT Tags on Images
- Meta Information
These elements must be considered and included in the planning of your website content. It is better to take the time now to get your headings optimised and your Meta information captivating whilst in planning mode than in a rush at the end.
Don’t forget that much of website’s search engine friendliness nowadays is focused on having unique, relevant and shareable content on your website. Check all your content and ensure that it is not copied from another source, that it is relevant for your target audience and that it is interesting so that people want to share it via social media.
Optimised and search engine friendly content needs to be at the forefront of any content writing efforts.
Tip #5 – The most important tip!
The most important tip when planning content is to always ensure that you give your clients what they want!
You may be happy to see pages about company history and your position in the company but it is likely that your customers want to see special offers, the services on offer and how to contact you or buy from you.
Ensure that your content priorities the right information and presents it in a way that the client would want to see it. The easier you make the content to be read and understood then the easier you make the customer experience on your website and the happier your customers are likely to be.
Follow these simple 5 tips to ensure that you have successfully planned and organised the content needed for your new website. Planning from the beginning will save you many headaches and ensure that your finished site is worthy of your companies aims and website ambitions.