When a business looks to building a new website, the first thoughts for every business owner / marketing manager is the visual and the aesthetic aspect of the website. Terms like full width page, 2 column layout, single page sites get thrown around. Designers talk about stylized images, reading fonts, website responsivity and interactivity.
But almost nobody talks about content or even a content roadmap. This sounds like disaster waiting to happen.
What happens if you’re content needs aren’t addressed in the design process?
Content stuffing becomes second nature
Ever seen a website that seemed really busy? As a reader, it may take a second to get adjusted before finding the information sought. Once the user has consumed the information they are looking for, they usually leave. Any call to actions (CTA’s), forms, and other forms of interactivity used to convert viewers become a wasted effort.
Content stuffing doesn’t allow for a systematic user experience that allows a website owner to guide and gently nudge the reader into completing an microinteraction.
Graphic styles and images don’t add value to textual content
Imagery plays a huge role in the transference of information on the web. Images and image styles that don’t match the textual content can confuse the audience. Audience members will spend more time noticing these subtleties and less time absorbing your information.
The website doesn’t help achieve the primary goals
Without the right content structure, it may seem like your website is not bringing in any substantive, quality leads. Worst case, your website could be attracting the wrong audience or even generating ZERO traffic.
So… What’s a content roadmap and how do I make one?
A content roadmap is a general mind map of the all the content that is going to be published either today or sometime in the future. Detailed roadmaps can get very complicated and convoluted, especially when variables such as social media, posting times, audience specific channels, etc come into the picture.
Identify the purpose of the website
What is the website trying to accomplish? How does that affect the types, formats and textual length of the content?
Who is the target audience? What should they be informed of?
The content on the website should be niche and highly targeted. How will the audience benefit from the content?
What is the hook that allows for a smooth transition from page content to converting leads, form submissions or other micro interactions?
There are websites out there that hit potential customers with a micro interaction the moment they hit a page. While this works for businesses with enormous brand credibility or visibilty – this approach doesn’t for the rest of us.
By figuring out what works best, a web developer can hone in on the perfect landing page / sales page for your website.
What is the frequency of page / content updates? What types of images are you planning on using?
This allows the web developer to also develop an editing workflow that is simple for you to follow. The last thing any business owner / website manager wants is to sift through previous pages, html classes or shortcodes to figure out how a specific effect was achieved.
Final thing to think about is the types of images that are going to be used through out your content.
Your content is the fuel of your website – don’t neglect it.
We might have asked a lot of questions in this post without providing a whole lot of answers. The answers to all the questions in this post are questions you should be asking yourself or your designer.
If your designer can’t answer them, it may be time for you to seek another firm. Might we suggest us?