There’s no better time to update site content than during a website redesign. Turning a critical eye to page after page of site content may feel overwhelming but it’s necessary to achieve the best website possible. Take advantage of these tips to help the content updating process go smoothly.
Start content early.
Content managers often don't realize how long the content creation process can be. As soon as the site map has been established, content managers should begin reviewing, writing, and editing. The process of entering content into the content management system—uploading copy, creating links, adding feature boxes, etc.—will go that much more quickly with content readily in hand.
As you review your content ask:
- Is the structure optimized to help users quickly find information and accomplish their goal? Or does the structure reflect an internal organizational structure or way of thinking?
- Is the writing style consistent with my brand’s voice?
Clearly define roles.
Who is authorized to author, edit, cut, or move information? Who is in charge of final review and proofing? Make sure that all content managers understand their responsibilities from the start. Consider creating a spreadsheet to track roles and status of the content.
Create a collaborative workspace.
Housing all content in one, easy to navigate place invites collaborators to interactively review and create materials.
Your chosen workspace may depend on the size of your site (amount of content, quantity of pages) and the number of content managers involved. A comprehensive Microsoft Word DOCX or Google Doc might suffice, a wiki site may be the way to go, or you might have access to another collaborative online platform.
Don't be afraid to delete material.
Tough cuts need to be made during the content review process.
Create an archival copy deck of your original content to which you can always refer. Then, delete content that is redundant, unnecessary, or outdated. Polish and restructure whatever you can reuse.
Just when you think you are done, look again. Edit vigorously. Cut, cut, and cut your text until it is the most essential message.
This review is an opportunity for multiple users to approach the content with fresh eyes. Make sure to take advantage of multiple perspectives.
Spell-check and proofread. A second pair of eyes before publishing your content minimizes the possibility of embarrassing mistakes.
Need some more guidance? Contact us for a Writing for the Web workshop to make sure your website content connects with your audience.