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Planning Your web content

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Presentation on theme: "Planning Your web content"— Presentation transcript:

2 Planning Your web content
Presented To IABC Waterloo March 21, 2013 Jonathan Woodcock

3 Overview Provide 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 analysis Define website visitor content requirements Specify area business requirements Plan web information architecture (sitemap/navigation) Prepare website content Obtain required training Prepare project management plan Create 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 audiences Organize content by target audiences Write audience-specific content Create and use personas Your website is not for you!

6 Create personas Name: 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 need Identify content audiences, topics and types Tip: Who should do the content analysis? Also called a web content audit or web content inventory

8 Content Analysis Assess what content exists (ROT = Redundant, Outdated, Trivial) Itemize what content needs to be generated

9 Conduct competitive analysis
Assess the competition 3-5 comparators is often enough Can be as simple as 3-5 things that you like/worked, and 3-5 things that you don’t like/didn’t work Identify patterns for user expectations Navigation Specific content Standard terminology Establish common language for stakeholders Encourage thinking as a user Don’t reinvent the wheel

10 Define content requirements
Know your website visitors’ questions Conduct needs assessments/focus groups/surveys Know your website visitors’ language Ask 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 Plan Page tables used to establish priorities at a page level, assigning components of the strategy to each page Can serve as a writing brief as well as a record Update and maintenance plan included Less 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 know Connect their language to your information Solve the common problems by leading them to the correct information Include relevant ‘about us’ information An 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 Training Are 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 content Are 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 writing Use 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 content Obtain images/create graphics for your website

17 Prepare a project management plan
Our typical Web Content PM Plan contains: Project Schedule Content Strategy Content Inventory Competitive Analysis Information Architecture Content 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 questions Provides a framework for measurable goals

19 Project Schedule Identify key tasks and dependencies
Assign work-time estimates Review with stakeholders Establish 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 expectations Establish clear understanding of timelines and revise with input from key dependencies

22 Key Lessons Photography and graphics are content but should be treated as special Include as separate work tasks in schedule Establish separate inventory Capture 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

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