The Correlation Between Content Generation and Web Design
You have a beautiful site, but for some reason, your company chooses to post on Facebook or Medium.com more often than on your actual site. You have a lot of content marketing ideas budgeted out, but everything seems to be getting stuck in the “drafts” pile. If this sounds like your experience, you may have gotten trapped in the common misconception that websites are only for your customers; however, if you are using a CMS there is another group of users who are critical to consider in the website’s design: you.
The most perfect of websites will be neglected if the content doesn’t entice potential users. On the other hand, even sites without complex design, like Wikipedia, experience heavy traffic and a high number of unique impressions. For a website that is a central part of your content management strategy, it is critical that content creators and editor’s experiences are considered.
Content is an investment. If you generate good content, then the value of your content increases and you have the potential to reach customers who require the specific services you offer. As a CMS developer, I know that content is key for our clients such as Dell, SteelSentry, and GuardiCore.
If a site contains disorganized or haphazard content, then its value decreases. This is why we always work with our clients to make sure that their content generation methods are in line with their vision. Like with every business, if you don’t plan for the future, you will be treading water in the attempt to get your content right. So, how do you ensure the right content keeps being created long after the site is developed? Check out my easy tips:
1. Systematize content generation and enforce content style guides by embedding business logic into the backend of your website.
After a content style guide is decided upon, your team needs to stick with it. A CMS like WordPress provides a customizable backend that is modifiable to fit any organization’s content generation and style needs. It is also possible to incorporate keywords and allow greater search engine optimization that is easy for anyone to use. Additionally, it’s simple to integrate this system into the site rather than depending on external documentation or training. By embedding it in your site, you prevent knowledge loss. This way the quality of the content is decoupled from the composition of your team.
2. Smoothe the process of collaboration and communication with an integrated backend that incorporates customized roles.
Depending on the size of your marketing team, there are probably many roles and levels of approval before a piece of content can go live. Doing this approval process manually might generate many emails or documents that are passed around informally and is incredibly lengthy. Additionally, new members of your team will need to be coached or worked with separately, otherwise, you could be putting your site and your public image in jeopardy.
It’s crucial to utilize a system that manages rounds of internal review for you. Most CMS systems provide the ability to create custom roles that fit the workings of your organization. This is a critical part of site design that needs to be considered and if done well, it can save you time over and over again.
3. Automate basic editorial processes inside the integrated backend.
One example is standardizing metadata that connects the content. By integrating an automated process into the site, your team can reuse this data and your editors are not spending time ensuring all the metadata is spelled correctly. This gives them time to work on more critical and skill intensive aspects such as clarity, content, and style.
If curation of the metadata doesn’t occur or is poorly done, you will have a data entry nightmare on your hands after a year or two of content generation. Each piece of content and metadata will need someone to catalog it. If you have 1,000 blog entries, as is common with many businesses, this could mean hundreds of hours on something that could have been avoided with a strong initial vision for your content and website needs.
A lot of people think of building websites as a sprint; however, I’m keenly aware that building the site is just the start. The success of the site depends on content output for years to come. This is why our agency believes that it is critical to ensure that the sites we build take not only our client’s customers into account but also our clients themselves. If you’re struggling with content generation, think about how your site can be molded to streamline this process and make it as easy as hitting publish.