Copywriting and your web content strategy

Managing your content strategy for the Web has never been so important. Failure to plan can lead to wasted time and money – and poor performance of online communications such as the following:

  • Website pages
  • SEO
  • Social media
  • Blogs

What is a web content strategy anyway?

A web content management strategy is your plan for generating, publishing and managing content with measurable objectives. It’s a rationale for the most appropriate publication of your online content to support your business goals and meet content consumers’ needs. And it’s a repeatable system for managing your online content during its lifecycle. The typical structure of a content management strategy is as follows:

  1. Situation analysis
  2. Define publication scope and content creation process
  3. Design information architecture
  4. Build the content team
  5. Select and implement suitable technology (CMS etc.)

Depending on your requirements, an experienced Web copywriter can contribute usefully at every stage of your web content strategy. From experience, the following considerations are particularly important.

Web projects are often delayed because of content delays

Too often, online publishers don’t fully understand the value of their written content and copywriting is often seen as something to be done when ‘real work’ is finished – rather than a core component of a successful web content strategy. Getting knowledge from those who hold it is notoriously hard. Sadly, unless organisations employ in-house writers, experience shows that the specialist skills and labour intensity of writing means that vital content generation often festers at the bottom of to-do lists instead of earning its keep in the marketplace.

Get vital copywriting off your to-do list

This is where a skilled freelance copywriter can help, with a cost-effective project-specific copy creation service so your content is written while you get on with what you do best for your business. I recently helped a construction firm populate their (completed) website with high-quality SEO copy in a few days. Before that, they’d been trying to get around to writing their own SEO copy for six months…

Your technical people may not be the best writers

If online content is late, or inappropriate, it’s often due to the quality of the writer used. When designing web content strategy, organisations often assume that their existing technical or marketing staff can create required content on top of all their other responsibilities. As in the example described above, numerous web projects are delayed because content wasn’t delivered on time and quality was poor due to using ‘writers’ without the time, skills or the inclination to prioritise the work. As well as being used to writing regularly, and to tight deadlines, skilled professional copywriters can also help draw required information out of your team.

You’ll need fresh content after the site’s launch too

Even when your website goes live, content creation worries aren’t necessarily over. In fact, launch day is only the beginning. Like hungry children or expensive hobbies, your site must be fed constantly to satisfy Google and human visitors. So, who’s going to write and edit the fresh new content that your target audience requires?

Filling the gap between current and future writing capability

Whether your site is new or up and running, a key part of your content development strategy involves identifying the gap between your current ability to produce high-quality content and the new or updated content required by your strategy. Will you achieve this with in-house writing resource? Fine if there’s sufficient volume to justify a staff copywriter, but not so easy if you don’t wish to take this option. That’s where it pays to build a relationship wth a skilled local freelance writer who can provide copywriting when needed – but without the overhead when they’re not.

DIY copy-repurposing isn’t as easy as you’d think

Organisations often believe that they can easily repurpose existing content: Web copy, they believe, can be cut and pasted into new brochures and brochure copy suddenly becomes SEO content. Then both get press ganged into duty as part of a blog content strategy… And then they wonder what went wrong, because there are huge differences between writing for the Web or print. Yes, content can be repurposed as part of your web content strategy (and often very cost-effectively), but doing so requires a professional copywriter’s specialist skills.

The contribution of a skilled freelance copywriter

My message is simple. As you design and implement your web content strategy, remember the contribution that an experienced freelance web/SEO copywriter can make – be it to complement your in-house team or as hired power-by-the-hour writing resource. Not only can you benefit from high-quality copy for a sensible fee, but I can act as a driver to help get vital copy off your to-do list and working for you.

Your next step

When it comes to copy, one of the most critical parts of your online content plan, will you try to do-it-yourself or harness the capability of a skilled copywriter? For a chat about how I can contribute to your web content strategy, please contact me.

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