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Why Your Website Needs a Content First Strategy

Sonal Panse,

The Importance of a Content First Strategy

Content first strategy means planning for your website content before you do the site design work. This is generally preferable to beginning with the web design, because it is easier to design around the content than to squeeze the content - and thereby perhaps having to limit it - into an existing design.

By considering the content first and then designing around it, you can come up with a design that reflects the purpose and theme of the content – the page layout, font type, and color palette should all echo the message of the content. It is best to go for a clean design that allows the content to be presented properly, makes it look enticing and readable, and makes it easily navigable and searchable; a chaotic, crowded, and difficult to access web page design can be a turn off even if the content is useful.

Planning a Content First Strategy

Your website content is really what makes your website worth visiting. You could have the greatest design in the world, but if it is not backed up with excellent and relevant content, the site is not going to generate much traffic. Note the words 'excellent' and 'relevant'. Whether you include articles, images, videos, or audio, the content needs to be of a consistently high quality and it must also have a definite purpose. Consider what you expect to gain from the website and what you would like your visitors to gain from it; usually, if it is a business site, it makes sense to showcase your knowledge and expertise in your field, and to provide interesting and helpful information to prospective clients.

To know exactly what you need, it might be necessary to carry out some business research, if you haven't done it already. It will help to interact with people in your field and discuss common issues, to survey what existing and possible clients might want, and to tap current and future trends in your industry. Staying aware of things can help you come up with engaging content ideas.

After you've figured out what you require, you will need to create an editorial calendar for the content. What are you going to publish? Apart from relevancy to your business, it will help to have evergreen content. Otherwise you will need to keep track of everything you publish and cull all the content that has become obsolete. Then there is the matter of having a publishing schedule. Do you plan to publish every day, once a week, or once a month? Posting regularly is advisable to keep up your public profile.

You will also need to think about the way the content is to be presented. If it is written content, what will be the expected word count? If there are images, how many and what sized? If there are videos and audios, what is the duration? Have you included links to related content to bring about further engagement with the audience? It is essential to use the right keywords, titles, and descriptions to make your content show up in search engine results. Another important thing is to have a marketing/publicity plan to extend the reach of your content.

If your content is compelling it will be shared – the key is to make it compelling. Build an audience by being interesting and retain it by keeping things interesting.