Gathering and organizing content with your client can be challenging. It’s easy to lose sight of the goal with many people working together. There are a few things you can do to ensure your content collection process is productive.
1. Determine your stakeholders for the project
Before doing any work on the website, get a good understanding of who is doing what. Who is the project manager on your client’s side? Who is the decision-maker? Get your stakeholders to participate in the project. When they are part of the process, they feel more invested.
2. Set goals for the web project
What is the goal of the website? What are the important milestones that you need to hit? When is the final deadline? Creating clear expectations will help everyone stay motivated and on the same page throughout the process.
3. Understand who you are talking to
Next, you need to understand who is using the website. What are their goals? What are they trying to accomplish? What is stopping them? How does your client help them? Understanding the target audience will help you and your stakeholders plan the site architecture and refine the content to best suit them.
4. Determine your primary and secondary call-to-action
Now that you understand who you are making the website for and what the website’s goals are, plan out the primary and secondary call to action. This might be actions like shop, donate, join us, download, subscribe, contact, volunteer, participate, and more.
5. Plan your site architecture
The site architecture is the cornerstone of any well-thought-out website, but it’s sometimes difficult to start planning for content when you’re still not completely clear on what your site will be. It’s vital to begin with a comprehensive plan before collecting any content. A site map can help you visualize all of the major sections and subsections you’ll need to fill, which will make it easier to decide what content pieces should go where.
6. Set deadlines and assignees
Things won’t get done if people don’t know who is doing what. By giving a deadline and assigning it to someone, you can be sure that the page is being worked on. With clear assignments, individuals can focus on what they need to do and when they need to do it without having to worry about how it fits into the bigger picture of the project.
7. Reuse content when you can
If your client has a previous website, reuse, reformat, and edit the old content when you can. Writing content from scratch takes more time than editing content that was previously approved. At the very least, reusing old content helps create conversations that can move your stakeholders forward. Sometimes seeing “what not to do” will help them determine the right content for each page.
8. Communicate as much as you can
Communicating too much is not a bad thing. It helps the project move forward and generates new, fresh ideas. Especially when you have progress tags, your stakeholders can communicate where each page is in the process.
Your job is to ensure that your content collection goes easily and doesn’t become a bottleneck during your web development process. Practice these tips to help you make your web project smoother and done on time.