If you’re thinking about redesigning your website, starting with a content strategy lays a strong foundation.
Content should act as the foundation, not just the shell, of a new website if you really want the site to serve a purpose. If you’re at the point where a website redesign is needed (bounce rate is high, or your website goals just aren’t being met — or both), it’s key to start with a content strategy.
Here’s why. And, more importantly, here’s how.
Begin with a Content Strategy
Not to start on a negative tone, but there are a couple reasons why your website redesign may fail without first creating a content strategy. The message here is simple: Content first, design second. The process is likened to baking a cake. If content is sugar, it’s baked in from scratch, not thrown on top after everything’s out of the oven. Combined with a well-organized sitemap and user-friendly design, your content will lead visitors through your site and sales funnel.
The process is likened to baking a cake. If content is sugar, it’s baked in from scratch, not thrown on top after everything’s out of the oven.
Perform a Content Audit
But what if you already have content on your site? You may think you’re set with your current messaging and media, but what may actually be in store is a content audit. This is the process of identifying and compiling each piece of content on your site into a large list — sort of like a big content inventory.
Audit strategies range from partial to quantitative to full-blown, but the objective is the same. A redesign may mean adjusting the organization or information architecture, so you’ll need to refer to this list frequently.
Your audit should help you identify and close any content gaps, better optimize the copy, retire old or outdated videos, graphics or copy, and make sure all content is on brand or sticking to your site’s message.
Ensure This Content Checks All the Boxes
So, you have your message, you’ve done your audit, and you have your fresh content. The final inspection asks simple questions to ensure your recent efforts went down the right path. Is your new or revitalized content current, functional, correct, unique, in the right location, relevant, effective and clear? If so, well done.
And you can still ask yourself, was your website redesign project really putting content first? Make sure you can answer yes.