Content is the heart of the website. It’s how you connect with people. It’s how you sell. It’s what you base the design on. Designing a site without content is like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle without any puzzle pieces; you’re just grabbing random items nearby (a fork, a light bulb, maybe a coffee mug) and trying to make them fit together.
Understand that the design is the fun part for the client. The content is the hard part. Largely because of this, it’s also the number one thing that can hold up a project. These are the reasons that a complete version of website content should be developed before the designs begin.
So how do we generate content? The perfect way to start is by taking a look back at your sitemap. This is where you have identified the types of content you want to present to users. Use the pages or sections you outlined here to create a blank copy document. For each section include the page title, the goal of the content, keywords you would like to target, headlines, and body copy. Include the types of content you anticipate living there and how you expect it to be broken up for easy readability and mental digestion.
Simplify and streamline
Another great way to make your copy easier to read is with easily-digestible content. Using smaller paragraphs and including icons and images to break up your content makes your website infinitely more readable. Rather than presenting large bodies of text that require an attention commitment you’re not likely to get from users, simplify the content and make it easy to skim.
After you’re done writing, go through and cut out every single nonessential word or phrase for optimal clarity. After you’ve completed this process, go back and do it again – there’s more you can remove. The brilliant Antoine de Saint Exupery, author of The Little Prince (a children’s book that everyone should read) said, “It seems that perfection is attained not when there nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.”
The last and most important tip for creating website content is this: If you are not a copywriter, hire one. It’s what they do every day. They can do it better and faster than you can. They can create copy that is optimised for search engines, engaging and grammatically correct.