Presentation on theme: "Planning Your web content"— Presentation transcript:
2Planning Your web content Presented To IABC WaterlooMarch 21, 2013Jonathan Woodcock
3OverviewProvide a summary of major work tasks for developing effective website content Provide information about resources to help with website content planning and development
4Major tasks AKA: 10 easy steps to effective web content Identify target audiences (visitors to your website)Conduct web content analysis (content audit/inventory)Conduct competitive analysisDefine website visitor content requirementsSpecify area business requirementsPlan web information architecture (sitemap/navigation)Prepare website contentObtain required trainingPrepare project management planCreate web content update and maintenance plan
5Identify target audiences Identify the target audiences of your website: Who are your current visitors or who is this website for?List target audiencesOrganize content by target audiencesWrite audience-specific contentCreate and use personasYour website is not for you!
6Create personasName: made-up name, representative of audience Picture: representative stock photo, or shadow image Relevant demographic information: age, major interests/responsibilities, other relevant info Main goals and tasks: what s/he is trying to achieve on your website
7Conduct web content analysis Helps you:Know what content you have and needIdentify content audiences, topics and typesTip: Who should do the content analysis?Also called a web content audit or web content inventory
8Content AnalysisAssess what content exists (ROT = Redundant, Outdated, Trivial)Itemize what content needs to be generated
9Conduct competitive analysis Assess the competition3-5 comparators is often enoughCan be as simple as 3-5 things that you like/worked, and 3-5 things that you don’t like/didn’t workIdentify patterns for user expectationsNavigationSpecific contentStandard terminologyEstablish common language for stakeholdersEncourage thinking as a userDon’t reinvent the wheel
10Define content requirements Know your website visitors’ questionsConduct needs assessments/focus groups/surveysKnow your website visitors’ languageAsk your coworkers what questions they get asked regularly by phone or by the same audiences (visitors)Check your analytics on existing sites for common search terms
11Draft preliminary content Question: What are the requirements for admission? Heading: Admission requirements Answer: The admission requirements vary by program. List of links to admission requirements by program.
12Content PlanPage tables used to establish priorities at a page level, assigning components of the strategy to each pageCan serve as a writing brief as well as a recordUpdate and maintenance plan includedLess content intensive sites could use the Content Inventory revised to include further detail
13Specify area business requirements Identify what website visitors need to know but don’t know they need to knowConnect their language to your informationSolve the common problems by leading them to the correct informationInclude relevant ‘about us’ informationAn about section on your site is probably the most work for the least traffic – but still required.Emphasis on the relevant to your audience
14Plan website information architecture Define your web information architecture (sitemap/navigation)Make sure that your information architecture works with the web design
15Obtain required training Technical TrainingAre you using a content management system (CMS)? What implications do your content types have for your writers?Who needs what access? Who is managing access?Training for web contentAre your content maintainers web writers?Are they aware of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and it’s implications for the web?
16Prepare website content Now you are ready to prepare your content!Use your sitemap (information architecture) to guide your website content writingUse your website visitor requirements to create your website content (this is the starting point)Write/add the other content that is required (business area requirements; content analysis)Remember key web writing guidelines - write accessible, scanable, SEO contentObtain images/create graphics for your website
17Prepare a project management plan Our typical Web Content PM Plan contains:Project ScheduleContent StrategyContent InventoryCompetitive AnalysisInformation ArchitectureContent Plan (Page Tables or Inventory)
18Content Strategy High level overview, answering: Who are our audiences?What do we need to say to them?How do we need to say it?What are we trying to do?Provides a reference point for content questionsProvides a framework for measurable goals
19Project Schedule Identify key tasks and dependencies Assign work-time estimatesReview with stakeholdersEstablish real timelines
20Create web content update and maintenance plan How often should the website be updated?What are your business cycles?What are your user patterns over time?Are you committing to dated content like blog, news or events?The Web is never done.Make content somebody’s job.Manage your content (Hint: this is different from your content management system)Include maintenance in the project management plan and schedule to keep it mind throughout development.
21Key Lessons Communicate with ALL stakeholders early and often Establish clear priorities and expectationsEstablish clear understanding of timelines and revise with input from key dependencies
22Key LessonsPhotography and graphics are content but should be treated as specialInclude as separate work tasks in scheduleEstablish separate inventoryCapture art direction guidelines where appropriate
23Key Lessons Internal stakeholders love their FAQs “We get great feedback about our FAQ!”Almost always from internal users needing a reference document, that belongs on your intranet.“We collated all the user questions and organized them by user type and theme, it’s even searchable!”There’s already a name for this: a website.Remember: Your website is not for you!