Gini Dietrich

The Website Content Development Process

By: Gini Dietrich | June 10, 2014 | 

Content DevelopmentBy Gini Dietrich

We have a client who is undergoing a major website overhaul.

They have hired Orbit Media Studios, which makes me extremely happy. I know they’ll do a good job for our client and they’ll make us look good for recommending them.

The challenge is the client wants to put the things we’ve been doing (social media, content creation, blogging, and lead generation) on hold while they focus on getting the new site launched.

Last week I sat down with Andy Crestodina to discuss what they do compared to what we do to see if it would be harmful to put our activities on hold.

Following is the website content development process we created during our meeting. I hope it’s helpful for you, too.

The Website Process

There are many things Orbit – and other web design firms – focus on:

  • Visual standards
  • Sitemap
  • Wireframes
  • Moodboards
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Launch

Then there are things we do together:

  • Strategy and branding
  • Review of the mission, vision, and values
  • Research of audience needs, marketing size, and a competitive analysis
  • Position
  • Messaging
  • Keyword research

As the site is being developed, though, content has to be created. Most organizations have some of the content already developed, some can transfer from the existing site, and some of it has to be created.

Content Development Process

Here is the content development process we use.

  1. Content assessment. Dig into the analytics and determine which pages on the current site have the most unique pageviews. This helps determine which pages should transfer and which can die with the existing site. It drives the content strategy.
  2. Content marketing strategy. Using the information discovered during the messaging and keyword research phases, as well as the content assessment, a content marketing strategy must be completed. What is your editorial mission? What do you want to accomplish? What stories will you tell? How will you tell them?
  3. Write. Now it’s time to write. You put the editorial mission on paper. You tell the company’s story, from the perspective of the customer. You build the evidence. You create content for the keywords you’ve researched and prioritized. You create content that doesn’t yet exist. You format and build links. And you optimize the pages with title tags, ALT text, meta descriptions, and rich snippets.
  4. Edit. You cannot edit your own work when a website is coming together. There must be a process for at least two, if not three, other people to review what you’ve created. Have someone read the content out loud. Lots of mistakes will be found that way. Have an AP style expert take the next round. Then have a final review by a decision maker.
  5. Enter content. Now it’s time to enter all of the content. Most web firms will provide you access to the development site so you can enter – and optimize – what you’ve created. Others will do it for you. No matter the process, this is when you’ll discover what text, images, and videos you’re still missing and how what you have looks in the new design.
  6. Rinse and dry. You may have to start with step three again, depending on if you’re missing anything once content gets uploaded. Then it’ll be time to pass it back over to the web firm to test and launch.

As Andy put it, they build the race car and we drive it. Is your race car going to be ready to drive?

Image courtesy of Andy and his team

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!