Compelling content doesn’t just happen. And, perhaps more important, it’s not just posted and forgotten.
To be successful, the content of your website needs to be tied in closely with your business goals for the site. At the same time, it needs to be provide what your users want from your site (requiring you to know what that is). Finally, you need to have the people to strategize, write, edit, approve, and post your content, whether on staff or available as consultants.
Do you want your site to…
- Answer customers’ most frequent questions, saving your telephone representatives for more valuable information?
- Provide comprehensive information about your organization and the products and services you offer?
- Offer 24-hour information, enabling you to serve global customers?
Your site can do any of these — although probably not all simultaneously. Why not? Because your audience segments have different needs. And there certainly is no universal solution for all projects or all audiences.
A content strategy often starts with an audit of existing content on your website, marketing and sales materials, customer call center and other sources. From this audit, a gap analysis will reveal what’s working and what is missing.
Ideally, while these activities are going on, other members of the Web team are going through equally important early-stage activities, including:
- Conducting user research
- Developing page wireframes
- Creating user task flows to document paths through the site
- Choosing to build or buy the technology for essential functionality