#1 Secret to Building a Successful Website: Plan Content First

Imagine sitting down for a nice bowl of cereal.

You’re still tired from waking up only moments ago. You grab a bowl, and then some milk from the fridge. You lower the milk container to fill the bowl when you suddenly stop yourself. You realize your mistake and go grab a box of cereal. After filling the bowl with cereal first, you then pour in some milk.

The message: Plan content first.

It happens all the time—a person wants a website built, so they go straight for web designers and developers. They want it constructed as soon as possible to get their brand, services, or product out into the world.

But what about the content?

Believe it or not, professionally planned content can be the game changer you need in the process of building your site.

Don’t believe me? Here are some reasons planning professional content first is the greatest investment you’ll make for your website:

Planning Content First Creates Effective User Stories

Let’s say you create a website for your consulting business. The web team created a stunning website, it has all the information about your business, and even has some big-name clients listed that you’ve done work for in the past.  

But then after a few months you notice something: Increased traffic to your site has done nothing to increase the number of new clients you get.

Guess what could have helped you? You guessed it—planning content first.

When building a website, you need to have the user continually in mind. Some questions to consider are:

  • What do I want the user to eventually do?
  • What parts of my website are leading the user to take their first step toward this action?

A professional content writer knows how to create content that has a sole focus on the answers to the above questions. This not only helps the user complete the action but also informs the web team what they need to design and code for.

A content writer’s pre-prepared content helps the web team know what features and plugins to include on the website—and which ones not to include.

Thus, eliminating wasted time and money for you.

Professional Writers or Your Office Admin—What’s the Difference?

“Your website is your first product.”

That is what a mentor once told me.

“It’s what people see first, and if your purpose is unclear or anything is too complicated, visitors will leave as fast as they came.”

So how do you fully utilize this important product?

Professional content writers are experts at understanding users.

They specialize in creating content that guides potential clients/customers to take a desired action. They can put themselves in the user’s shoes, considering their aspirations, fears, and desires.

Their purpose isn’t to fill out the basic info needed to explain how great you or your business is (though that certainly is part of their job). Their purpose is to write content that will make a sale, add to your email list, make an appointment with a new client, or take whatever action you want users to take.  

So, when you’re trying to decide who will write your content, your office admin or a content writer, keep this in mind: Effective and strategic content can bring in revenue you otherwise would not have.

Plus, content is what people see every time they visit your site. Trust me, you don’t want to mess that up.

Content First = Time and Cost-Effective Web Teams

Content writers are the bridge between designers, developers, owners, and users. Content writers are communicators. Their job is to know several things, such as:

  • The website owner’s objectives
  • What the designers needs to know
  • How the user thinks
  • What will help make developers effective

The combination of these things makes for great content that meets everyone’s needs, therefore saving time and money, while fulfilling the purpose of the website.

A content writer can prepare content beforehand that keeps the web team in mind. The writer knows what designers and developers will eventually need to know, and they can meet those needs before it ever becomes a problem.

When planning out content first, a writer’s job is to make every other contributor to the website more effective down the road. They spot missing elements that would have been overlooked until after the website is built. For this reason, web designers and developers alike love a good content writer.

Planning content first is a step far more important than people give it credit. Content carries the message of the website that guides users and the web team alike to meet the web owner’s objectives. So please—pour the cereal first.

– Written by Austin Hansen

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