• Adrián O.

Trust the process: How we write web content



A website is an essential part of business these days, whether it hosts an e-commerce store, provides information to prospective customers or acts as a company portfolio. This is especially true for businesses without bricks and mortar, where it becomes the front window of your brand.


Branding has been traditionally linked to the visual aspect, and it’s still common for businesses to prioritise visual design over the content. However, branding is so much more than logos and colours. Every touch point and communication with your audience adds to and impacts their impression of your brand, and your website is a good starting point to set the standard for your company.


So, how do you produce good content for your website? Our philosophy is that every piece of content should be simple, relevant and purposeful. Passionate about design and design thinking, the typical process we use to develop content is the following:

  1. Discovery

  2. Design

  3. Write

  4. Review


We do this to make sure that:


  • all content is relevant and purposeful

  • we meet user, business and marketing needs

  • the content speaks the audience’s language

  • there’s no big reveal for the client because they’re engaged at every step

Discovery

‘Content without discovery is like playing chess without a board’ - Sarah Richards, Content Design London.

First things first, we need to get the best understanding of who we’re writing for and why, and what problems we’re trying to solve through the content.


Through conversations and research, we learn about the company, their values and objectives, and the role their website plays in their overarching business and marketing strategy. We also look into their industry and competitors as well as their audiences: what they need from the website, the tasks they need to carry out.


Finally, we assess any existing content to see what information is already there and what’s missing, and look at the site structure to see if it makes sense: is the information where you’d expect to find it? Is it organised in the most efficient and user-friendly way?

Design

When developing content, we want to provide audiences with the right information at the right time, in a way that works best for them. Once we’ve mapped out audience needs through user or job stories and created an outline for the information structure of the site, we’ll define certain specifications for every piece of content, such as goals, objectives, messages and acceptance criteria.


If there are no brand guidelines in place, we help the organisation define a voice, style and language to guide us in the content production. Our goal is to translate their values and culture into a way of communicating that’s authentic and resonates with those they’re trying to reach.

Write

It’s at this point that we like to produce a sample piece of content so that the client can see the voice, style and language in action. We share work and get feedback early on so we can steer the direction and make changes as we go. Once the structure, direction and voice work have been signed off, it’s time to produce the rest of the content in line with the new voice and style.


Sometimes we need to pair write with subjects experts when working with complex or specialised information (such as engineering or law) to make sure that it’s accurate, which also reduces the amount of editing work for our clients.

Review

In an ideal world, we’d test the content we write with the end customer. But when this isn’t possible, we go through a round of editing with the team to make sure that it meets business goals and audience needs.


Once the content is loaded into the CMS, we proofread the website and provide feedback on the design of the content.


Checking back in with the client a month after the site launch is also important to us; we like to understand how the site’s performing, any feedback they’ve received, and any new requirements that have come to light.

The takeaway

If you’ve never engaged a writer or agency to work with you, it’s natural to assume that writing just takes a bit of ‘creativity’. Yet, as you see above, there’s a lot more to writing effective website content than you’d first think.


Again, our commitment to following this process is to make sure that:


  • all content is relevant and purposeful

  • we meet user, business and marketing needs

  • the content speaks the audience’s language

  • there’s no big reveal for the client because they’re engaged at every step


Do you have any ideas about our process to help us improve the way we work? We’re always keen to learn from others, so please get in touch!

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hello@tidycontent.com

Tel: 07583 174 390

Romilly Crescent, Cardiff, CF119NQ

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