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Phone: 304-293-2491 option 3

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8:15 am - 4:45 pm Mon-Fri

Email: cmsdesk@hsc.wvu.edu

Mail Address:
ITS / Application/Web Services
West Virginia University
P.O. Box 9011
Morgantown, WV 26506

Content Strategy on Your Website

The most important thing you can do to make sure your website relays the proper information to the correct audiences is to work on your websites content strategy.

What is Content Strategy?

Content strategy plans for the creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.

Necessarily, the content strategist must work to define not only which content will be published, but why we’re publishing it in the first place.

Otherwise, content strategy isn’t strategy at all: it’s just a glorified production line for content nobody really needs or wants.

Content strategy is also—surprise—a key deliverable for which the content strategist is responsible. Its development is necessarily preceded by a detailed audit and analysis of existing content—a critically important process that’s often glossed over or even skipped by project teams.

At its best, a content strategy defines:

  • key themes and messages,
  • recommended topics,
  • content purpose (i.e., how content will bridge the space between audience needs and business requirements),
  • content gap analysis,
  • metadata frameworks and related content attributes,
  • search engine optimization (SEO), and
  • implications of strategic recommendations on content creation, publication, and governance.

 

The info above is from an article called "The Discipline of Content Strategy" by Kristina Halvorson

"The main goal of content strategy is to use words and data to create unambiguous content that supports meaningful, interactive experiences. We have to be experts in all aspects of communication in order to do this effectively." - Rachel Lovinger - Content Strategy: The Philosophy of Data

Questions to ask when working on your websites content strategy:

Why is the site needed?

  • Who is the audience?
  • What are the age ranges and interests of potential site visitors?
  • How will they use the Web site?
  • What are the key reasons users may have for visiting the site?
  • What should visitors of the site come away with?

Content

  • What content will be needed for the site?
  • List the sections and features that will be included.
  • What already exists and what needs to be developed?

Communication

  • What should the site communicate?
  • What are the primary objectives and goals (long term and shortterm) for the site?

Additional tips to make sure your website and each of its pages get the right messages across:

  • Identify the core goals of your entire website and make sure all of the contents on your site have some relation to those goals
  • Make sure the content of each page focuses on the goals of that page and the website as whole
  • Do not over populate any page on your website with too many distractions (buttons or links that are not relevant to the content)
  • Break content down into digestible chunks
    • If a page has too much information and tries to cover too much it can be overwhelming
      • Break large sections of content down into pages under a parent page and use the websites left navigation to help people get through that information in more clearly defined ways
      • Add helpful buttons or links that guide users to important parts of these areas
  • If a section of content has too much information (More than 10-15 pages) it should be made into a PDF that can be viewed or downloaded by people