I want you to stop and ask yourself this question. Have you ever been to a website that was so self involved with the writing, that you quickly hit the back button?
You know the types? Those that say “Here at XYZ Webdesign we…do this…do that…we are great”.
Now look at your own website. Are you also making these mistakes? Yes, it is much harder to identify it when we are in the driver’s seat.
This post is going to explore some tips on how you can make your site more engaging through a content strategy. We’ll look at things like giving purpose to a page and keep everything relevant so you attract the right customer.
I believe the biggest obstacle for those sites that have this self indulged speak is lack of planning. So they write from the heart, not from the plan.
Let’s now look at why a poor message can be detrimental to your business health.
Are you getting the right clients to coach?
One the most fatal flaws you can make with your coaching business is not getting the right clients. This can be even more dangerous than not attracting anybody. So your message has to be succinct and focused.
I will admit, when I worked for one of my first clients; I went straight into the work, developing the site concept without even thinking of a content strategy. As a result, the site went no where.
I was lucky in this regard because it could have attracted the wrong clientele, but my clients were clever enough with their content – albeit somewhat formal – to attract either the right client or no one.
Sadly it was no one in this case and the blame was squarely on me.
So just think for a second. Without a content strategy, there are 3 ways this whole thing could pan out.
- Get lucky and attract the right clients without organising your message, content or focus
- Get unlucky and try to appeal to everyone, but get no one
- Or worse, get somebody who you don’t understand because you didn’t take the time to define who you can help
But before diving into the elements of a good content strategy, let’s define what one is.
What is a Content Strategy
A content strategy is simply the planning, developing and managing of content according to the wikipedia.
In this phase, we are talking about planning but typically here’s how I implement a content strategy for a first time client without a website:
- We get together and discuss the core of their overall message
- We map out the essential pages which depend on both their message and the business model
- We use this map to create and manage the content
Keep in mind, this is just a simplistic overview. Not all content has to be written ahead of time which is why I use priorities in the map. We’ll get to that soon.
What I want to leave you with are some ideas for what goes into your content strategy.
The Components of a Content Strategy
When creating a strategy for planning out content, which as mentioned is a great way of attracting the right clients, I like to use a Google Spreadsheet. I typically use the following columns.
- Page Name
- Page Link
- Page Title
I always like to use an ID to identify the page. Nowadays I just use a number such as 1 or 2. If I have a related page, I use a decimal. For example, if I have a page called “Account”, and it has subpages called “Member Area” and “Billing Info” then I will create an account page with an id of 3 (for example) and the subpages respectively 3.1 and 3.2.
The Page link is jotted in for pages that are existing. For those that need creating, I consider the link may be tentative so I write TBA.
Of most importance is the purpose for each page. Each page must have a purpose.
An example is the home page. It’s purpose is to showcase what you do, why they should choose you and who you do it for. The user comes to this page first, so it should speak to users of all awareness level.
I use status to track whether the page needs creating, revising or is completed. And I use priority so I don’t get overwhelmed with all the pages.
Here’s a power tip for you. Sort the pages by priority with priority 1 pages showing up first. And filter the pages so only incomplete and priority 1 pages make themselves shown.
This tip has saved me overwhelm because my list goes from a visible 60 pages to 5 visible pages that need actioning immediately.
A content strategy has really helped me revolutionise my message and also helped me with my clients’ plans. If you are seeing this blog post, it means I have pushed the new version of my site live. That is proof of concept 🙂
So, if you are stuck or want to know what variables to consider for a content strategy, then download my Content Clarity worksheet. It will guide you through some exercises that will help you determine what you need to be clear on.