When people mention the word ‘content’ around the office, we’re talking about a whole bunch of different things (from text to video to downloads, etc).
When clients talk about content, 99% of the time they’re talking about the text that delivers a message, information, and calls-to-action while collectively making up the ‘consumable’ portion of your site.
While the goals of any form of written communication may be very similar, the method and medium for delivery has different rules and different means of measuring success. That means that simply being able to use a word-processor does not make you ready to write strong copy for the web.
During content meetings we have a both a process and question list that needs answering. Without getting all ‘process’ on you, I thought I’d share some of the finer points that need clarification when composing and strategizing content.
• What goals are you trying to accomplish for the website as a whole and among its individual pieces (including individual pages)?
• Who is creating your content?
• What content is being created and why is it being created? To what end does your content serve?
• While measuring interactions on your site, are your intentions being met or do you need to make changes?
• What do your desired visitors want and need from your content and is it accomplishing that?
• Can your goals be met with your content within your budgetary means? If not, what can you do to meet those goals using other content strategies?
• Does your content structure lead visitors along paths you intend? What changes can you make in order for them to do so?
• How will your content be delivered to your users and why?
• Do you ask your visitors for suggestions?
• How will you measure its effectiveness (analytics, perhaps)?
• What value is your content delivering to your users? To your website overall?
• How will you thematically categorize your content for smooth and further navigation?
• Is it easily understandable and consumable (to your visitors, not you or your co-workers)?
• Does your content encourage (signal) or discourage (noise) desired behaviors?
• Does your content speak to your users in a manner that is comprehensible or is it too techy, thus losing its efficacy?
• How is your content being tested in order to answer the above?
• Where are you getting content from if not original? Is it an RSS feed?