When you are looking at the long term health of your organization’s online presence, having and maintaining a strong content strategy is a must. Erik Clausen provided a solid overview of why content strategy is important, but why does it matter specifically when looking at creating a successful web presence? Because it provides the solid foundation for your digital platforms that will ensure you will drive traffic to your site and cultivate your message moving forward. It may not be perceived as being exciting, as it’s typically a lot of work to both get internal buy in and to maintain the process. However, the rewards for seeing the process through will be more than worth the initial growing pains.

The development of a solid content strategy can be a little overwhelming at the outset, but by breaking it down into three phases can make it less daunting.

  1. Plan

Putting aside time to establish goals and develop your content strategy at the start of the project will save you lots of time (and headaches) in the long run. Including your development team early on will also help everyone to understand expectations and ensure that goals are met.
The planning phase can contain key components that will frame your overall content strategy, including discovery sessions, setting requirements, developing an informational architecture, and assigning responsibilities to team members for content development.

  1. Develop

Successful content development is the by-product of healthy internal communication and a transparent workflow. Connecting worlds of copywriting and web design can allow your writer to view content within the proper context and make that adjustments needed beyond the confines of a word document. This results in all team members having an holistic view of the site development in real time, and to make decisions based on their findings.

  1. Maintain

This is where the long term success of the site lies. No matter how strong the content is when you launch, it’s crucial not to lose this momentum and let site content turn stale. Developing a strategy for content maintenance can be very simple, and quite often seems obvious, but sticking with it will take a conscious effort and team awareness.

Editorial calendars and website analytics are invaluable tools in ensuring that that the right content is being consistently produced, and that your target audience audiences are actually finding it.

Developing and maintaining a content strategy does take some effort, but as the cornerstone for your web development process you will develop a better site that is set up for success. There’s no doubt that it’s worth it.