If you have not yet started planning or writing your website content, then this guide is a great place to start.
Even if you are not yet at the stage of adding in the content to your website, and are still working on the design of the site with your Project Manager, it is still a good idea to begin planning and thinking about your content.
It can actually speed up the build of your website considerably if when you reach the content input stage, you already have some content prepared or have a good idea of how you are going to organise your website’s pages.
Before you begin writing any content, it is a good idea to think about the number of the pages that you have in your website package, and what you would use each of them for. We usually suggest that at the very least you will need a Home page and Contact page.
Remember also, that you don’t have to use all of your pages at once. In fact, it would be better to leave some pages in your allowance unpublished rather than adding “filler” text or repeating information from other pages, as this would have a detrimental effect on your website with regard to Search Engines.
If you would like to learn more about Search Engine Optimisation, then check out our handy SEO Guide. Whilst we are not SEO specialists, we could also recommend some third party companies you would be able to help you in this area.
When you are ready to plan your content, we suggest that you follow the steps below:
First draft out a site map to help you think about which pages you will use and how they will navigate with each other. You need to keep this as simple and easy to use as possible, as your website visitors won’t want to search around your website to find what they are looking for.
Here are some things to bear in mind before you get started:
- What is the primary purpose of your website? For example, if it is to sell products you need to make sure your product pages are easy to find and easy to navigate once the visitor has found their way there. If you have a lot of products, it is better to avoid having them all on one page to avoid the visitor doing too much scrolling.
- Who is your website’s target audience? This will inform the way in which you word your content and the tone of your writing. Although remember that whoever your target audience, your site needs to be accessible and easy to use for all.
Your site map should be sent over to your project manager before your content, and should outline the way your site will flow and which pages are included under each heading/title page.
For example, a site map for a 10 page website might look like:
- Home - main menu
- About – main
- Services – main menu
- Testimonials – main menu
- ontact – main menu and side bar link.
- News – side bar link.
- Special Offers – side bar link.
- Product Category A – Services page link
- Product Category B – Services page link
- Product Category C – Services page link
If you are trying to plan content for a larger site, of 20 pages or more, then you may want to give further consideration to your pages and what categories or page folders, as we refer to them, they could be grouped into.
See the image below for an example of how page folders can organise your page content.
(Click image for larger version)
Write the content for each of your pages in word processing software, making sure you use the spell check facility or get somebody else to proof read to ensure there are no typos.
The following may help you to gather your ideas for writing your content:
Do you have an existing website?
Do you have any promotional material that we can use?
What have your competitors used on their website? (Please note that you cannot directly copy content from another website as this is plagiarism and violates copyright, although this can be a good source of inspiration.)
You may also want to consider the following questions and try and answer them within the content.
Please give a brief over view of what your business does.
a. What sector are you in?
b. What region do you operate in (including actual town names/localities)?
c. What is special and unique about your business?
Please give a short history of your business and an overview of your ethos and methods.
a. When was your company founded?
b. Who founded it?
c. How has your business grown over time?
d. What is your company ethos?
e. Do you follow any special methods in your business practice
f. Are you members of any professional bodies?
a. What services are you offering?
b. How do you go about offering your services?
c. Please provide details as to what each service entails, technical specifications, and images.
d. What is special and unique about your services? Why should people choose your services or products over other peoples?
e. What is possible using your business?
f. If you want to go into any amount of detail about a service, you will need a page per service. If you would like all the services on one page, please provide details of what headings you will need.
a. What do customers say about your business?
b. Do you have any specific quotes from customers we can use on your website?
a. What positive things have been happening in your company recently?
b. Do you have any upcoming events, or have you recently had an event you want to let your website visitors know about?
c. Take a look at our News page for some more ideas.
a. Do you have a special offer of the month/week that you want to draw attention to?
b. Do you offer any other discounts, e.g. student discount, or discount if your website is mentioned?
These are the text or boxes that will appear at the side of the page. They are used to highlight important information as they stay the same on every page, for example special promotions, news & upcoming events or links to a blog or social networking profiles.
a. What contact details do you want to provide to customers?
b. Do you require an events calendar?
c. What promotions are you running at the moment?
d. Has anything exciting or new happened to your business recently?
e. Do you have any links to your local community such as sports team sponsorship or charity events?
f. Do you offer a money back guarantee to your customers?
If you would prefer to have your website content planned and written by a professional copywriter, who will also be able to help optimise your content and give you advice regarding search engines, then please get in touch with us on 02380 633 644 or send us a message via your Toolkit for more information.