Creating Website Content: Where to Start
When we work with clients to create a new website, we often face the same hurdles. From a complete rebuild to a page-for-page recreation on a new platform with new visuals, page content plays a critical role. Alongside changes in layout, functionality, and format come changes to the written content, from adding in text for slides and headers to completely new content for new pages. Often, creating website content, and the review and approval of this content, can cause delays in the website project. Here’s how to avoid it.
Who Should Write the Website Content?
Determining who is best suited to writing the content has several factors. While the ideal answer is almost always “the client,” there are several reasons why marketing agencies might be tasked with it.
- Budget: Having the marketing agency develop the content takes time, which is factored into the overall project costs. Many clients will take it upon themselves to write the content to reduce costs.
- Time: As we’ve mentioned before, time a significant resource many clients forget about. Those who decide to write the content themselves because of the budget find themselves unable to meet deadlines due to time.
- Expertise: The primary reason for clients to write their own content is because their knowledge of products and services is absolute. Especially if new pages are being added to the website, the client should write content for them: at least an outline and always provide input.
- Writing: For some clients, especially small business owners or for whom English is a second language, they may need help with their grammar and spelling. It’s up to you and your website developer to find the best middle ground to get all ideas across.
The Content Writing Process
After you’ve worked out who is best suited to write your website content, it’s time to get the systems in place needed to make sure you’ve got everything you need.
- Start with a Sitemap: Work with your developer to great a map of all the pages on your website, including URLs. This will allow you to know what to write about on each page before you start.
- Collect Relevant Data: Regardless of who is doing the writing, the client should provide any useful information not readily available. This includes documents, hidden website pages, and any other data.
- Establish a Review Process: Work with the agency on content oversight, establishing when content should be reviewed. This includes reviewing content before or after integration into the page, as well as setting time aside for the agency to review any content you provide.
- Don’t Forget About SEO: While Search Engine Optimization is a large topic, website content plays a vital role. Make sure your content matches keywords like your page URL and document any page links within or outside the site. Learn more here.
Learn more about writing great website content in our post, 6 Pointers for Creating Great Website Content.
Creating Website Content: Three Scenarios
Need some visualization of how this whole process works? Let’s outline a few different scenarios when working with an agency.
Client Writes Content for Refreshed Website
For one of the reasons mentioned above, the client wants to handle any writing. The agency builds out the new look, usually with some new elements such as slides or headers. Once both sides agree on a new look they like, the agency will provide a list of new content such as slides, headers, and any pages that need more content or revised content to meet SEO standards. Since the content is usually rather light, this doesn’t impact the timeline significantly.
Client Writing Content for Overhauled Website
Whether it’s adding new pages, changing the content, or rebuilding the entire website from square one, in this hypothetical, the client has a lot of content to work through. The success of this process comes down to one thing: does the client have the time and drive to write the content? Many a website project has stalled when the client is unable to deliver content to pages. We suggest creating a timeline for writing content and get help from your agency if you’re having writer’s block.
Marketing Agency Writes New Website Content
Having a marketing agency write your content makes a lot of sense: they know what’s ideal on website pages in terms of length, layout, and SEO. However, they will need your help to provide all the needed information for these new pages, including voice, data, and any features. Work with the agency to build out an outline for each page, provide information, and have a review process (by the page or full site review) that will work for you, or you’ll most likely have to make significant revisions down the line.
Ready to get started on that new website? Not sure if you need a new website? Talk to us at Vision Advertising to find the right solution for you. As a comprehensive marketing agency, we provide full website design and development, content creation (including blogs), SEO & SEM, and social media marketing. We’ll help you find the perfect website solution for your needs. Contact us today.