Content Strategy a Key Element to a Successful Website Project

POSTED ON June 12, 2013

Creating a great user experience means creating great content. But just like designing a website is more than picking colors and fonts, a content strategy is more than copywriting individual pages. Both design and content require a strategic understanding of user expectation, usability, and business goals.

Why is Content Strategy Important?

Gone are the days of “brochure” sites where a business can put up a few web pages about their products and services, then forget they have a website. As consumers increasingly turn to doing research and making purchases online, a business website often functions as both first impression and key lead generator. All content that is produced for a modern user experience must support the marketing and branding goals of the website:

  •         Target audience – Content must be relevant to the customer the business wants to reach. Furthermore, a content strategy will identify where visitors are likely to be in their sales/research cycle and deliver targeted messaging that will move them closer to a conversion.
  •         Promotion and Re-Use – Through the strategic use of meta-data and keyword analysis, content is optimized to increase exposure on search engines. Well-structured meta-data also provides a platform for content to be customized and re-used in a variety of contexts and market segments.
  •         Topics – Content is produced based on:  

o   Needs of the consumer balanced with the goals of the business

o   Industry-relevant editorial calendar

o   Content Gap Analysis

  •          Editorial Consistency - A content strategy will define editorial guidelines for all content on the site such as voice, tone, terms of use for user-generated content, and legal concerns that affect the site’s industry (HIPAA compliance for medical industry, for example.)

How to Develop a Content Strategy

Developing a useful content strategy begins with asking the hard questions about what content will be the most useful , meaningful, and memorable for the site’s visitors. A content strategist will then perform an audit of existing content and a competitive analysis to identify missing areas of content. To target audience(s), Marker Seven content strategist work with the UX team to define user personas to guide both design and content direction. The content strategist will also work closely with design and information architecture to ensure that the site is built to support the types of content needed, and that the content is created in the correct formats (meta-tags, categories, etc.) 

A good content strategy will not only guarantee that a new web project is launched with high-quality, meaningful, and useful information, it also lays the foundation for ongoing content development that will keep visitors returning to the site. 

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