Getting Started with Website Content Strategy and Architecture
At the beginning of every website project there are two big questions you will soon be faced with: “What content should be included?” and “How should it be organized?” Here are some ideas to get you started in finding answers!
If you have not already defined goals for the project, begin by asking questions. Then ask some more. The answers will provide focus for the content.
- Who should the website reach? Current customers? Prospects? The media?
- What response are you looking for? A purchase? A donation? Contacting your organization?
- How should the visitor feel while on the website? Confidence in your services? Compassion for those in need? Excited by a product’s results?
- Where will visitors come from? Paid advertising? Email newsletters? Referrals?
Often there are multiple answers to each question. That’s fine, just list them all and then ask which are of the highest priority.
List Content Ideas
Now it’s time to start gathering a list of content ideas.
Start by asking around and making a list of everyone’s responses. There will always be content that someone wants on the website but has never had the time to add.
The next step is learning from the old website. Data from Google Analytics will show what pages are visited the most. In Google Analytics, go to: Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages and select a date range between three months and a year. It is often helpful to export this data into Excel. “Bad” data can then be removed and pages with similar content can be grouped together.
Combine the list of new content with the list of most visited pages from Google Analytics. Then, add pages that are not visited often but are important for reaching your goals. Now you have a master list to work with.
Organize, Prioritize, and Eliminate
Here comes the fun part! It is time to take this mess and create an understandable structure. Start grouping related ideas together to eliminate duplication. Then, using the goals defined earlier as a basis, prioritize these into the topics that are most important. Feel free to add more topics as more are sure to come up during this part of the process.
Continue to work through this process until the result is a nicely structured content list.