Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Content Strategy : The building blocks of your online presence

by Doug Peters

Undergoing a website build is a timely and sometimes costly process. You and your chosen website designer will have devised a strategy, covering every aspect of your website build from initial concept to final delivery. But have you taken the same care with your web content?

A very applicable cliché

No doubt you will have heard, seen and read the phrase "content is king" during your site build process, and perhaps wondered what it actually meant! Although massively overused by many a copywriter the old cliché is true! Your content is "king". Getting your copy and content right is just as important as getting your site design right. Your website could be a visual masterpiece, but no matter how pretty or stimulating the aesthetic if you can't effectively communicate your message to users in an engaging way they will just wander over to your competitors...

Good content needs a content strategy

Content is the hardest working element of your website. It communicates every aspect of your business to people: informing them of your services, capturing interest, instructing and informing on how to use your site, collecting information, rewarding brand loyalty, and letting people know who and what your business is all about. Phew! But why does content need a strategy, surely it's just a case of getting a good copywriter and giving them "artistic licence"?! Unfortunately crafting good content is not as simple as that, good content needs a content strategy.

A content strategy sets out in realistic terms the process for creating every written word that appears in your web communication, and even extends out to blogging and social media presences. Initially you need to formalise what messages you want to communicate through your website: why is your company the right choice, what are your company's and products' best features and how can people access you and your company.

Then it's a case of analysing your current content, brand guidelines and style guides to look strip out and save the useful and relevant information and remove trivial or outdated content. By developing a content strategy you crystallize the desired tone and style of your virtual communication which allows you to create new content, revise your current product and service descriptions and re-write your boring "about" pages.

Content strategies also formalise the budget that you are prepared to spend on your content, and yes you do need a separate content budget! Developing new content can be costly, especially if you are outsourcing to various content experts such as bloggers, copywriters and social media writers.

Do I really need a strategy? I've only got a brochure site!

The answer quite simply is yes, you do need a strategy! Regardless of the size of your website, you need to define the process of developing your site's content. A website is an extension of your company, how many key decisions do you make within your company without first setting out a strategy? If you are even remotely successful probably not many! Think about the new products and services which you have developed, more often than not you will also have developed strategies to take your product or service from concept to realisation, and didn't they make the whole process a lot easier?

Although it seems a chore, developing a content strategy for your online communication provides you with far more positives than negatives!

About the Author

Posted by:- Doug Peters, Contact him: -, To read more articles on Website design & development and other Business Services by Doug Peters Click Here : - "Website Design Articles". And to Get free Quotes and Advise for Web & Internet and other Business Services contact us "Quotes & Advise"