Five website content questions to ask yourself for 2019

Filed in Content, Content marketing, Marketing by on December 15, 2018

Website content planning

Does your website content need an update for 2019? Here are five simple content questions that your organisation should ask itself now to support 2019 website performance.

One of the most exciting things about today’s marketing is the sheer pace of it. Technology continues to shorten campaign cycles and what we did just a couple of months ago can feel a bit like ancient history! Which is why websites do get out-of-date a lot faster these days.

Even if you have committed resources to the ongoing management of your website, the odds are that your focus is limited to a relatively small percentage of your total site. This makes perfect sense from the standpoint of short-term campaign performance, but it can mean that bigger or lower priority content sections, simply never get reviewed and optimised. For smaller marketing teams, this can mean that focus is limited to just 2-3 landing pages.

So, before getting swept away in the momentum of 2019, it could be worthwhile exercise to take a little time out to review and discuss the state of your website content and performance. Here are five questions to get you started!

1. Does your website still position your company effectively? 

Companies grow and change. So, if your company has introduced new products or services, refined its sales proposition or started focusing on new types of customer, then your brand positioning may have changed (whether this has been formally written down and agreed to, or not). Very often, when this happens, sales, marketing, delivery and customer service teams can all end up talking slightly ‘different languages’. Do take some time to check that your website does a good job of positioning your brand(s) and communicating the right messages to the right people.

2. Is your website still serving your primary goals?

The late British car designer Sir Alec Issigonis, once quipped that ‘a camel was a a horse designed by a committee’, a disparaging comment aimed at design projects led by committees. Over the years, your website has probably been enhanced, updated and added to at the behest of different departments and stakeholders in the organisation. So, it’s useful to take a step back and assess whether your current site is still focused on your organisation’s primary goals, or whether that focus has, perhaps, been diluted a little.

3. Does your website engage all your key audiences?

Many websites in the early years of the World Wide Web took their inspiration from marketing brochures and set-out to focus on acquisition. Acquiring new customers is still a main driver for company websites, but we now know that customers seek out information on the web during all stages of the customer life-cycle. Does your website content engage effectively with audiences throughout the stages of awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty and advocacy? If not, where are the weak points and could your site content provide more value to key audiences at their particular stage in the life-cycle?

4. Is your content ‘snackable’?

According to research takes about 0.05 seconds for a website visitor to decide whether to remain or leave your website. Other research over the past ten years points finds that average attention span may have shrunk to just 7 seconds, reportedly, close to the attention span of a goldfish! However, for Internet users that visit websites with a purpose in mind, the trend is simply towards being more selective in the content that they consume. So, although relevance, quality and the type of content is obviously critical to engagement, so is making content easy to consume and comprehend. Is your website content getting your key messages across in under 7 seconds? It’s a question!

5. Do you have a content calendar for Q1?

Internet search engines rewards websites that are more frequently updated with relevant content. However, the best laid content plans can sometimes come apart during the year as other priorities push and shove their way into the workload. Do you have a plan for adding new and refreshing existing content? And, if so, does this plan aim to support engagement across different audience needs? Furthermore, are the goals for creating and posting different content projects clear to all?

Check it before you wreck it!

If any of your company’s answers to the above questions might be no, then the first point of action should be to conduct a methodical assessment of content goals, needs, current content assets and specific new requirements.

Even when you are dealing with a website of just a few dozen pages, it doesn’t make sense to start changing things without quantifying the task at hand and prioritising based on business value. Simply delegating the work to an internal editor or external agency without understanding requirements in some detail can lead to weeks or months of delays, due to changes in requirements, revisions and additional rounds of time-consuming approvals.

If you’d like some independent advice and recommendations for content strategy and planning for 2019, or if you need help with 2019 content requirements, please do send me a message or contact me via email at carringtonm@spotonpr.com