Creating A Killer Website Content Plan

I just got off the phone with an amazing friend who asked the question that has me totally pumped and excited to write this post, because I'm convinced that if you're planning on hiring a designer, or even planning on diy'ing your website, it will be an extremely helpful tool. Okay be patient already, I was about to say what the post was about. You're smart, you've probably guessed it already by the title and the graphic but I'll just go ahead and say it. This post is about creating a content plan for your website. But that's not what you're interested in. Yes. Yes. I'm coming to that shortly. I'm super pumped because my friend asked...

 Are you ready...

Yesss...

I know this is a lousy way of building expectations but let's just pretend it's fabulous...

Good...

Let me say this already.

Take a deep breath.

Good. Here goes.

 

"What is the singular thing that made the difference between when it took you two months to design your site and now that it takes you two weeks?"

 

To be honest, that question was slightly difficult, because the temptation to say that my short client process was attributed to the fact that I gave each client my full attention for the stipulated time was terribly high. In fact, it was all that came to mind immediately. But no, it couldn't be. I thought again. Ahh. The answer was so simple I shouldn't have missed it. It was so obvious what a hot mess I was when I was creating my first website and how better things have become in recent times. What really made the difference? A content plan. Yes.  Don't rack your intelligent brain on this one. I made all the mistakes and now I'll show you in this post, step by step how to create a content plan / strategy for your website.

Elyeeka (4) creating a killer website content plan.png

 

First of all.

 

What is a Website Content Plan?

That's easy actually. It is the breakdown of all the information that will go on your website, where it will go and how it'll all work together to help meet the goals of your site. A content plan is the most essential tool in the pre-design phase of your website because;

·         It will serve as a clear plan of action and a guiding light for your new website.

·         It will save you tons of time

·         It will help your designer understand exactly what you want and help her/him to create a totally fabulous website.

·         It becomes easier for your visitors to find their way around your site, which will reduce bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page) and help you achieve your site goals.

·         It'll help you determine what exactly you need to get done, so you can get to doing it. For example, if you're having a site that is supposed to help you build your e-mail list, you definitely need an email marketing service like MailChimp or ConvertKit. You can then sign for their services prior to your designer starting the project to avoid any last-minute hitches.

 And oh. A good, detailed content plan will give you a mighty head start to start writing your content and get you excited about it. Speak of effortless copywriting for your website, a good content plan has you covered.

 

Now on to the main thing...

As much as I'd love so much right now to tell you that you could get the most epic content plan written by brainstorming your ideas of your upcoming and scribbling them to the piece of paper next to you, I just can't. That's not how it works. It easy to create, that's for sure, but it require careful thought just like every important step in your life. Great.

A content plan has three parts, or is written in three stages, which ever sinks better with you. They are Goals, Roadmap and Outline. I'll take each one step by step so by the time you're ready to write yours, you'll be so pro that you'll finish it in a breeze.

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Goals

Tough love. It's basic common sense by now that if you don't know why you're doing something, you probably won't do it well, and that if you don't know the purpose of a thing, you'll most likely abuse it so I won't try to be deep by preaching to you what you already know. In the goals stage or part of your content plan, you'll be basically looking at

·         Exactly why you want to build the website?/ Objectives.

Having your objectives for your site clear from the beginning will help you to be able to tell who you should target and what kind of stuff you should ask them to do. The stuff you will be asking your visitors to do are "Call to Actions" and they will be your best friends when it comes to reaching your site goals. Why do need that website up, is it to Get people to sign up for your email list? To get them to buy a product your selling? Hire you to speak at an event for another service? Amazing! Is it to get them to read your blog? Follow you on social media or build your community? Or to position yourself as an expert on a particular subject or industry? Even better! What are you waiting for? Go ahead and write down why you're ready to crush that new site! Now you're ready to write an epic content plan.

 

·         Who you are trying to reach aka your dream client or ideal visitor?

No, not in a shallow vague way like, My ideal visitor is Molly and she's looking for a good travel blog to read on Saturday nights or My dream client is anyone who is looking for inspiration to start a business. That's not detailed enough for you to be able to create your design, writing and call-to-actions around. So what kind of stuff should you write and how detailed should you get? Write down things like What their name is, how old they are, where they live, what they do for a living? How much do they earn? What do they do in their free time? What kind of thing do they like- their favorite blogs, podcasts, magazines, channels on YouTube, brands? What experts in your niche do they follow? Where they hang out on social media? What is their style? Where do they shop? What are they currently struggling with or what are they frustrated about that you can help with? What kind words do they use in their everyday life?

This might seem like things you could do without in the beginning but being clear on them will help you tailor your website to make the experience for your dream clients feel like a dream and that's what people want - experiences crafted around them. It'll keep customers and visitors coming to your website over and over. Tell me that's not you want.

 

·         How you are going to reach them?

Now that you know who you're trying to reach, it'll be easy to tell how you are going to reach them. Yes, because you can now tell what they're looking for on your site. What do you do? And what will a potential client be looking for on your website? So, you run a printing house? Tell us what exactly you print. Show your past works and your prices. Public speaker? Your clients will most likely want to know how to get in touch, for how much you're willing to speak at and where else you've spoken before. Do you get me? Amazing!

 

·         What you want them to do?

Now that you know what you want to do with your site, who you want to attract and what they're looking for, this is when 'Call to Actions' comes to play. Call-to-Actions are just what they suggest, the things you tell your audience to do that guides them through the roadmap you've laid out so they can have a stress-free client experience as you also accomplish your site goal. It's highly recommended that every page of your site should have at least one strong to action, preferably at the end. Clear and compelling CTAs reduce overwhelm as they literally walk visitors through the website. Call-to-Actions include "Register Now!" or "Grab the free book here!"

Pro tip: Put CTA on buttons in 'popping colors' (that still match your site colors) so your audience can easily notice them and take action. Just like the one below.

 

·         Site Goals.

Not what we talked about earlier. This is #sitegoals instead. What do you want your site to look like? This is where you draw inspiration from other sites. See a functionality in a site you like. Perfect. Add to cart. I mean, list them in your content planner as your site "must haves"

 

·         What kinds of content you are going to give your visitors?

If you plan on having a successful site, I highly recommend you focus on producing valuable content for your audience. I'll go into details on why you should in another post but for now, you have to decide what kind of content you will give your audience. Will you give them video tutorials and how to’s or you'll be discussing your findings on your topic through blog posts?

Goals. Check.

Now next thing on the list is your Roadmap.

In the Roadmap section, you'll be holding the hands of your clients and helping them move along from page to page till they get to the end where both your goals are reached. You'll do this in three steps.

1.     List all the pages you will need on your site

2.     Map them out as in the example below.

Have fun with it! Doesn't have to look the same way, just has to show a clear path so you know how to achieve your site goals :) 

 

3.     Sort them into which ones go into the navigations and which ones don't. Why? Good Question. It's overwhelming. Leaving so many options in your navigation will confuse your audience and if they can't figure out where to go first or next, they'll leave your site. You wouldn't want to do all this planning to have your audience leave your site, would you? I didn't think so too. Your header can have up to five options. Choose the most important ones and put the rest in your footer or put them in your pages (only when it’s necessary, like when you're linking to your work with me page) Pages like your Privacy policy and terms and conditions have nothing to do in your top navigation.

 

Outline.

This is the real deal you've been laying the foundation for. If you made it here. You mean business. So, I'll just get right into it.
But first. We'll break this up into two parts so its bite-sized and easy.

Overall Vibe
What vibes do you want your site to give? Describe it. How do you want to make your visitors feel when they land on it? Put that down too.

To be able to properly give off that vibe, your site pictures need to be #bomb and your fonts need to be carefully selected. They should have consistent colors and tell the story your audience can connect to, and most of all, they should match your brand to create consistency. So, go ahead, select your photos and fonts for your site.

Pages

Now for each page, you'll decide.

·         What is the page title?

·         What is the page URL (eg.yourbiz.com/thatpage)?

·         Will there be a sub-page, if so what URL will you use for that page as well?

·         What key functionalities must that page have?

·         Links to other pages

·         What information will go on the page. (If you're unsure, check here)

·         External links (social media, etc.).

Now you're all set and ready to create a website maximized for conversion! Download the free planner I made for you and get started!