We aren't just building a website for no good reason. So let's get intentional about the things we include on our site.
Your web content strategy is figuring out what you include on your site and why.. to what end. Knowing what you want to say and then structuring that story and how it flows.
It's strategic storytelling.
Identify your audience and Know your goals
Get clear on your websites "reason d'etre'' (Reason for being.) What's your end goal? What are you trying to achieve? There are hundreds of online resources to help you through this part of the process. I've created this free to download GD Questionnaire which is what I use when working with my clients to help us Identify and Clarify their business and branding goals. This will help you deliver your messaging effectively (with purpose) and in a way that's catered to the recipient of that message. The content on your site (and everything you put out) should do 1 of 2 things:
Fulfill a need for your audience or support one of your own business goals
Create content plan
Now that you know what your setting out to achieve you need to start understanding what part of your site content will serve that purpose and how it all fits together.
The structure (Site map)
The structure of your website plays a big role in your site's SEO (search engine optimization or where you rank in search results), so it's important to plan your top-level navigation structure carefully. Which pages need to link to one another? Start creating a map of your site. Identify your 2 core pages - Most valuable pages. A good way to figure out the hierarchy of your information is to plan with mobile size in mind, it forces you to prioritize your content.
Your audience needs to know 3 things:
1 .Who you are
2 What you do
3. Why they care
(img source hubspot):
At every stage ask yourself: does your content fulfill a need for your audience. Does it support one of your own business goals? If it doesn't serve one of these; just drop it.
Know what your Ideal User Journey looks like
How do you want people to find you and what do you want them to do when they do? Map it out and optimise everything you create to make it a reality. I have more than one but my preferred one goes like this:
Searched for logo and branding ideas on pinterest
Came across my work
Clicked through to Visit website
Viewed work and loved it
Get in touch (send message) to tell me about their project
Uses blog posts to guide them through the process
etc (I map it out all the way up till they refer me to a friend/use me again/leave a review)
The mindset to approach this with is not 'how do I make a sale'. Think more in terms of your user getting the value they desired when they visited your site. They came for a purpose... fulfill it.
How do you make sure the users need or reason for visiting your site is accomplished?
How do you make them leave feeling successful?
Your job as brand/business owner is to be in alignment with that. It's that alignment that leads to action.
What's the desired action for both you and your user? Whatever it is.. the story your telling should be leading to this end goal. It might be - to buy, to keep updated , to attend, etc
Our job is to make it as easy as possible for your user to reach this desired end.
When i'm working with clients, we work though the GD discovery questionnaire together, then we discuss the user journey and we create a loose Initial Sitemap. As we get clearer on the content we build on the sitemap and create a wireframe.
You've thought about the site structure. Now figure out each pages structure.
Start visualising the content. How will you deliver your messaging on each page? Will the homepage be text heavy or rely on images and video? What's the best way to convey your message? Will you include Reviews? How can each page best achieve its purpose. As a designer creating wireframes and sitemaps is a co-creative process requiring a little back and forth with the client. That's where the magic lives and the alchemy happens. A designer can help you think creatively about how to present the content on your site but having a clear intention of what that content is makes the difference between a good looking website and a good looking website that serves its purpose.
Audit or Create the Content
Having done all of the above your ready and prepared to get all your content together. Your website should be designed around your carefully considered content. Clients often ask me to send them a wireframe to help them plan the content but in my experience this just leads redesigns further along the process when the client starts thinking about the content based on what they actually need to articulate rather than what I as the designer presumed they would need. You know your business better than anyone, your website design should be a tool for communicating YOUR message attractively and effectively. I always prefer the client to audit or create the content before I start mocking up the design and never without a wireframe.
Use all the free resources online to help you write great copy or hire a copywriter. Use high quality images that work with your branding. Once you have all the content ready to go. You (or your designer) will have everything needed to finalise The Design. Make use of your mood boards or pinterest branding board to think about your websites layout and how it will look on the pages. The graphics and Icons you may need to make it all look it's best.
Need help with creating a website? I help the bold and ambitious create branding design and websites that look good, feel right and do well. Get in touch