Let’s cut right to the chase on this one, great content is absolutely crucial to the success of your website.
Without it, your all-singing, all-dancing design will remain just that:
An attractive design that provides no real purpose or function for your visitors.
It doesn’t end there, either.
Your content plays a key role in bringing in new visitors, pushing your site to the top of the results on major search engines like Google, and will often be the deciding factor as to whether those visitors convert from casual passers-by into paying customers, regular readers or newsletter subscribers.
In other words, whatever your goals may be for your new website, you’ll have a much harder time achieving them without good quality content that is both unique to your site and interesting to your intended audience.
It doesn’t have to be. Here’s our top tips for planning your website content.
Define your purpose
Before you can do anything else, it’s important to decide on the exact purpose of your site.
Just what are you hoping to achieve?
Are you setting up shop to sell your products over the Internet?
Should your site act as a kind of online brochure for the services you provide?
Are you hoping to build up an audience for your creative work?
By defining what you want to achieve, you’ll be able to create a clear plan going forward of how you’re going to achieve it.
Decide on your platform
Once you know what your new site should ultimately do for you, it’s a good idea to decide on what tools you’ll use to help you do it.
If you’re selling products, you’re going to need an eCommerce solution.
Posting regular content such as blog posts, articles, videos or photo galleries?
A Content Management System will be ideal for you.
Thankfully, most of the Internet’s top web hosting companies make it easy to install and run a wide range of different platforms so that, at the very least, this part of the process should be straightforward for you.
Outline your key points
If you’ve already created a marketing strategy, or at the very least a business plan, you’ll find them helpful when it comes outlining the key points you want to put across with your website.
This should include things such as:
- The benefits of your products or services to your customers
- Why your business is best suited to serve a particular need
- What action you want visitors to take as a result of visiting your site.
These key points will ultimately form the basis of the majority of your content as you start to build up your site, giving a focus and structure to each new piece you create, and even helping generate fresh ideas when the inspiration well starts to run dry.
Choose your method(s)
Arguably the best thing about the modern web is that we have greater access than at any other time to tools that allow us to communicate our messages and reach our audience.
Though traditional written copy still has an important role to play, you can complement this with attractive, attention-grabbing images, compelling infographics, video content, podcasts and so much more.
Which methods you use will be up to you, and probably depend a lot on how much time, money and resources you have to spend on creating certain content types, though as with everything else we’ve mentioned so far, knowing in advance what kind of content means you’re better prepared to pull together the resources you need to produce the best possible material for your site.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced when planning out your website content? Share your struggles with us on the Web Design DIY Facebook page and we’ll do our best to help out in an upcoming post. Alternatively, get in touch with us on Twitter @WebDesignDIY.