5 Content Strategy Questions to Ask Before Designing a Website

Dechay Watts

Written by Dechay Watts on Tue, Nov 29, 2011

content strategy qYou can’t build a house without a plan.  Well, you could but it would likely fall down with a huff and puff from Mother Nature.  You have a much better chance for success if you work with an architect to draft a blueprint, a contractor to get the right materials, engineers to take care of the technical details, and a designer to bring it all together.   These people create a strategy for the construction of your home.

The same scenario exists when you try to build a website without thinking through all of the elements that need to be included.   Of course, you need a designer to build the site.  Then what?  We get calls at least once a week from business owners with goals of “I really need a new website” or “I need more traffic to my site” or the always tricky “I want my site to rank higher in search engines.”   What they are really asking is for us to finagle magic pixie dust into a pre-existing website.  Why?  Because they didn’t consider content strategy from the beginning.

Content is part of the overall construction of a website.  It would be pretty hard to build a home without a contractor, right?  Or, an engineer?   “Oops, we forgot to install the electrical wire.”  Not a phrase that will make a homebuilder happy.  Well, that’s kind of what happens when content is left out of the planning.  It’s hard to go back in and rewire an already existing building.   Sometimes, you even have to knock out a wall to get it in correctly.  Likewise, it’s difficult, and much less efficient, to rework content from a pre-existing structure than if content stratigists are included from the beginning of the plan. 

Here are 5 Questions to Ask BEFORE Hiring a Designer

  1. Who is your target market?
  2. What are you trying to acheive with your website?
  3. Who will write the content for each page?
  4. What is your editorial plan to keep the site updated?
  5. Is Search Engine Optimization a goal? (don't wait until the CEO Googles him or her name and yells “I can’t find myself anywhere!”)

Some of these questions make take some time to think through.  That’s okay!  It will take less time now than if you jump into construction of your site without a editorial content plan. If you want more questions to think through, download this sample questionnaire to get started.

We’re a content marketing agency with a solid understanding of SEO, but even we have a hard time waving the magic wand when business owners leave out content strategy until after the design is finished.  It’s like asking an interior designer to create a beautiful, functioning bathroom out of the back shed.  Sure, it can be done.  But, it won’t be easy.

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