Great content starts with having a good website content strategy. Below is a quick and easy checklist for creating and implementing a strategy for your web content.
Content Strategy – creation and implementation
- Does your organisation have a strategy for how its website content will develop over time and contribute to your organisation’s online presence? (This is a Content Strategy: a document which sets out what goals you want to achieve for your website content, and how you’re going to achieve them. The goals can be anything from short term one-off changes to long term and multi-stage projects.)
- When decisions about content and content strategy are made, does the decision-making process consider the views and expertise of the people within your organisation who are responsible for writing and maintaining content? Have you taken the time to listen carefully to these people about the difficulties of their jobs, and what would make their work easier and better?
- When content strategy decisions are made, are they clearly communicated to those who need to know, both within and without your organisation?
- If training is required as a result of content strategy decisions, is it carried out?
- Is there follow-up after the training to ensure those who received the training are successfully implementing the new way of doing things?
Things you need to consider as part of your Content Strategy
- Do you know the main thing(s) users want to find it, or the main task(s) they want to carry out, when they come to your organisation’s website?
- Can people easily find what they want on the website?
- Once they’ve found it, can they easily understand and make use of it?
- Are the business goals the website is supposed to achieve clearly defined?
- If so, are website results which relate to those goal regularly tracked and analysed to identify opportunities for website improvements?
- Is there budget for both maintaining and improving the website content?
- Does the website have Google Analytics set up to collect site usage data?
- If so, are essential site usage measurements regularly reviewed to identify opportunities for website improvements? (As in, high bounce rates, places where people leave the shopping cart etc.)
- Does the website have metadata loaded on every page? (Metadata sits invisibly behind your pages but it’s really important. It helps search engines understand your website content, so it plays a critical role in getting your website coming up on the first page of a search. Metadata includes page title and description, and headings in content, along with a bunch of other stuff.)
- If so, does the metadata on each page effectively represent the content on that page? (As in, when the page comes up in a Google search, does the meta description tell users what to expect, are the meta keywords relevant, etc.)
- Do you know what devices are most commonly used by the people who visit your organisation’s website? (As in, desktop, mobile, tablet etc.)
- Does the website work well on those devices?
- In developing your content strategy, have you taken into account the rapid shift by users worldwide towards viewing the web on mobile devices?
Your website content development process
- Does your organisation have a website content development process for getting new or revised website content written, approved, and published?
- Is the process widely understood?
- Is the process used by everyone?
- Are content approval requests responded to promptly and effectively?
- Does your organisation have a set of website writing guidelines?
- Are the guidelines actively in use by website content authors?
Does the content development process:
- Make it easy to get content created or revised as required?
- Ensure that new or revised content is relevant and accurate?
- Ensure that outdated content is deleted soon after it becomes obsolete?
- Ensure that outdated content is removed from Google search results?
- Manage translating and updating content in multiple languages? (This question only applies if the website uses more than one language, or you’re thinking of adding a language.)
Your organisation’s website content people
- If website content work is done by more than one person, are standards in place so content is consistent across the whole website no matter who updates it?
- Do specialists and subject matter experts help with writing website content as needed? Does their involvement in content drafting and/or content approval improve or hinder the overall content publishing process?
- Do your organisation’s website content people have outside support available if they need it?
- Do they make effective use of that outside support?
- When website content people depart your organisation, are their replacements trained to effectively use the organisation’s content development process?
Website content governance
- Does everyone involved with content strategy, creation, and maintenance understand their roles within your organisation’s content ecosystem?
- Does senior management understand that high-quality website content is vital to the success and reputation of your organisation?
- Does your organisation give high priority to ensuring content is current, consistent and of high quality?
- Does your organisation ensure that the use, maintenance, archiving and disposal of content within your organisation meets legal requirements, such as Privacy Act and – where applicable – Public Records Act requirements?
Your Content Strategy should be at the core of everything you publish online. Good content strategy supports great content, content with purpose, and content that drives action. If that sounds like a tall order, why not talk to Webstruxure about how we can support you to create or improve your strategy for web content?