Why a content-first approach?
When you’re considering a website redesign, you may be tempted to think about the design first and figure out the content later. Don’t. Content should be the priority.
Everyone wants an attractive website that utilizes the newest trends and technologies, but even the most beautiful site on the web is going to be worthless if users can’t find the information they need. That’s why you need to consider content first and develop a content strategy for your website.
What Exactly Is a Content Strategy?
Content strategy focuses on the planning, creation, delivery, and maintenance of web content. Your content includes the text on the page as well as images, video and other multimedia used. Useful content is well organized, semantic and, most importantly, goal-oriented.
How to Create Meaningful Content
- Start with a thorough audit and analysis of your existing content. Make sure you can easily determine the goal of each page.
- Stick to one or two topics on each page and focus only on content related to those topics. If you decide your existing content is too verbose, trim it down. If your content is unrelated to the page topic(s), relocate it to another page or delete it.
- Split your content into sections and give each section a descriptive headline.
- It’s okay to link to other pages within your content. In fact, it’s preferable to use this strategy rather than create redundant content.
Your writing will project personality and identity. It should be consistent across all content. Tone on the other hand, can, and should, adapt according to the context of the content.
According to Kate Kiefer Lee, content curator at MailChimp, a brand’s tone should vary depending on the emotional state of readers. For example, humour on a welcome page can build likability and loyalty. But in a warning message, it can result in exactly the opposite.
MailChimp is so passionate about voice and tone that they have created a website called www.voiceandtone.com. The website shows their writers how to use the MailChimp voice for the brand’s various content types (blog posts, tweets, “compliance alert messages” and even their mascot’s jokes). It’s a great resource for their team and very useful for anyone who wants to create a voice and tone guide for their own brand.
Remember that your website’s content should be a living, changing thing. Develop a strategy for making timely updates to your content to ensure your website doesn’t become dated.