In last month’s post we looked at two of the six key elements to consider when planning a new website – mobile first indexing and website layout design. Now we’re going to look at the next element…
Quality content is totally essential for a website to be successful. The must have item that must not be left to chance.
Sounds straightforward, but what is content creation and how do you do it? A Pew Survey described Content Creation as ‘the creation of the material people contribute to the online world.’ This includes videos, infographics, blogs, podcasts and a plethora of other formats.
To put it another way – content creation is the process of choosing the subject you want to talk about, deciding how you’re going to present it – words, pictures, giant crayon drawing, working out your strategy – more on this a little bit later – and then actually rolling up your sleeves and producing it.
And because content can take many forms – blog post, web page content, video, eBook, infographic, social media posts and adverts to name but a few – creating quality content and deciding where to put it can seem daunting. Is it worth it? Yes, it is.
‘Recent research proves that creating quality educational content makes customers 131% more likely to buy from your business.’ Source
How to come up with ideas for great content
You don’t have to do this all on your own! Content ideas can come from many places:
Inside your head
The TV/Social Media
Keyword research (ask us about this)
All you have to do is ask:
What’s on their minds?
What interests them?
What do they like?
What do they hate?
What problems have they got that need solving?
Brainstorm, role play, play devil’s advocate
We love what Neil Patel has to say about this – he really knows his onions!
If the thought of creating all this content is making you feel slightly sick, fear not. You can always have someone in your team do it. Or outsource. Just make sure a) you know your budget b) you do your research before you choose.
BUT WAIT! Content without a strategy is like fishing in the dark. You need a plan!
We particularly like Nelson Phillips definition of what a content strategy is:
‘Content Strategy is a dynamic plan for producing and publishing innovative information that helps to build authority, expertise, and solid relationships with your ideal customer. Content strategy is about asking yourself how you can build customer loyalty, community, and how you can help yourself become a recognized thought leader in your field.
It’s a documented beacon of hope – a proverbial lighthouse – guiding your ailing ship in from the gales and swells of an inhospitable sea. It’s your plan B, and your plan A.’
Your digital content strategy your map. It tells you where to put your content to best appeal to your ideal audience, and helps you work out what ROI (Return on Investment) you can expect – i.e. a bucket full of fish instead of no fish.
This includes having decided:
Where to publish content
How often to publish
Where to share/promote/distribute it
The style/voice to use in your content
The audience niche you’re writing to
Your content budget
Your topic areas and target keywords
And much more!
Things to consider when building your Content Strategy
Define your goal – why are you creating content in the first place.
Create a buyer persona. Who’s the target audience for this content?
What problems is it going to solve? Your content reinforces the solution(s) you’re offering and makes your customers more qualified users of your product.
What makes you unique – In order to prove why you’re worth buying from, you need to prove why you’re worth listening to, to differentiate yourself from the competition. (more about this in a minute).
What forms will your content take? Infographics? Videos? Blog posts? Social media? Podcasts? Case Studies?
How will you manage content creation and publication – It’s important to know who’s creating what, where it’s being published, and when it’s going live. Source
This is a massive topic and we’re not going any more in depth in the post. We’d recommend you have a look at Julia McCoy’s post written in January this year to get a really understand of what’s involved – then give us a call so we can help you get your strategic ducks in a row!
CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS)
A Content Management System (CMS) is a way for you to manage all that lovely content for your website that you’re creating (having created for you) . This includes documents, images, posts and other types of media, like videos. It’s a system that allows for editing, auditing, document management (including version control) and can come with a variety of funky admin controls.
At Design Image the design of your website is bespoke, as is the CMS, which is built to suit your specific requirements. There’s a couple of reasons we do this.
A restaurant with menu pages and a booking system, maybe a seating plan and a customer review page will have very different needs to a building merchant with an online warehouse and delivery system. Our CMS is coded specifically for you so that it’s appropriate, intuitive and easy to use (and we provide training, which usually takes less than 2 hours)
Sites that are built with a million off the shelf plugins are slow, clunky and wide open to hackers.
Now this isn’t to say that we’ll build you a website and a sexy CMS and wave you a gentle goodbye! If you’d rather we uploaded all your content, maybe reworking it to optimise for SEO – more on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) another time! – we’ll do that for you.
And for a monthly fee you can contract us to carry out content adds and changes, UI(User Interface) and UX(User Experience) amendments and a variety of website administration tasks, freeing up time for you and your team to be doing things you’d rather be doing.
In our next post we’ll be looking at the three remaining key elements – Your Vision, Differentiation and how to Stand Out from the Crowd.