Presentation on theme: "Planning Your web content"— Presentation transcript:
2 Planning Your web content Presented To IABC WaterlooMarch 21, 2013Jonathan Woodcock
3 OverviewProvide a summary of major work tasks for developing effective website content Provide information about resources to help with website content planning and development
4 Major 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
5 Identify 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!
6 Create 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
7 Conduct 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
8 Content AnalysisAssess what content exists (ROT = Redundant, Outdated, Trivial)Itemize what content needs to be generated
9 Conduct 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
10 Define 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
11 Draft 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.
12 Content 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
13 Specify 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
14 Plan website information architecture Define your web information architecture (sitemap/navigation)Make sure that your information architecture works with the web design
15 Obtain 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?
16 Prepare 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
17 Prepare a project management plan Our typical Web Content PM Plan contains:Project ScheduleContent StrategyContent InventoryCompetitive AnalysisInformation ArchitectureContent Plan (Page Tables or Inventory)
18 Content 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
19 Project Schedule Identify key tasks and dependencies Assign work-time estimatesReview with stakeholdersEstablish real timelines
20 Create 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.
21 Key Lessons Communicate with ALL stakeholders early and often Establish clear priorities and expectationsEstablish clear understanding of timelines and revise with input from key dependencies
22 Key LessonsPhotography and graphics are content but should be treated as specialInclude as separate work tasks in scheduleEstablish separate inventoryCapture art direction guidelines where appropriate
23 Key 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!
24 Jonathan Woodcock @jbwoodcock jonathanwoodcock.me QUESTIONS?Jonathan jonathanwoodcock.me