Too often in website projects there is a lot of frustration around content development, specifically toward the end of the project. If you’ve ever thought about or gone through the process of designing a new website, content was probably top of mind. Who will write it all? How long will this process take? It can be overwhelming, to say the least.
The problem we see is due to its vast nature. There is often not enough content planning done up front, or enough thought put into content to ensure the successful launch of a website. Lack of preparedness for this process leads to delayed launches, unorganized content, major headaches and designs that don’t match up with the content you spent time creating.
So, how can this be avoided? Well, at thunder::tech we’re big fans of content planning way ahead of time.
Content planning is the process of evaluating and creating a plan for the successful and efficient creation of content for your new website. More often than not, this is saved for the end of a project, after the sitemap and wireframes have been completed, with the thought that somehow, it will just magically get done. We’re aiming to change that!
How to Content Plan
1. Complete A Content Audit
A content audit is a qualitative analysis of all of the content that lives on your current website. This is typically done by generating a list of all of the pages and content on your website, and importing it into a spreadsheet.
Here are a few benefits:
2. Determine Your Audiences
See a high-level view of all of the content and content types on your current website.
Identify which assets can be leveraged or modified to be reused in your new site, which in turn may reduce hours spent creating new content.
Determine any gaps, overlapping or missing content.
Inform better UX.
Determine which pages are most popular amongst users and which ones may need help.
Just as it is important to get a high level understanding of the content that lives on your website, it is also important to understand the audience(s) you want to target. This also helps during the UX phase to make sure the new content best suits their needs.
3. Collaborate and Set Deadlines
While the UX designer can assist in guiding the content strategy, ultimately, you know your users best and are the experts of your business. Having upfront discussions early and often throughout the entirety of the website project can ensure that your team is all aware of their specific roles in content writing. Setting deadlines is equally as important, plus it keeps your website project on track for launching on time.
4. Complete a Content Planning Workshop with thunder::tech
thunder::tech can assist your team in a content planning workshop to discuss the roles, responsibilities and recommended tactics to ensure the content writing and the eventual migration of previous content onto the new website is a seamless and well-thought-out process for launch. We make sure that this step of the process happens in enough time before the launch as well in order to safeguard any last minute edits from throwing a timeline off.
During this workshop, we aim to provide guidance on the workflow and governance of the content types. We do this to make sure your team is aware of the types of content that need completed, along with the deadlines that the content needs submitted.
Take a look at just a few benefits of completing the workshop:
Produce and publish quality content.
Ensure content is ready for launch.
Prioritize and manage what and which content is most important.
Manage limited resources.
Develop an integrated approach and workflow to the production of your content.
Content should very much be treated as an evolving and iterative process. It is something that needs to be discussed up front, and throughout the entirety of the process. The most important thing to note here is that you should not wait to get started on content after the designs have been approved. All content informs a good UX, and in turn the UX helps inform future content decisions. Ultimately, these elements should support one another, as each is intrinsically the same in the eyes of your users.
It’s understandable that the content aspect of a project can be overwhelming. With some content planning though, it doesn’t have to be. By investing focused time, creating a set workflow and aligning your internal goals upfront, the process becomes much easier.
Take a look at our most recent video
overview of our content planning process for site redesigns for some extra facts and figures on the topic.
Thinking about iterating your current site or redesigning it completely? Before you do, make sure you’re talking to the right team. Find out more about our process by sending us a quick email
or tweeting us @thundertech
. We’re happy to help.