A key to a successful content project is being prepared before you begin creating anything. That means you need to ask the right questions well ahead of any content work. While the specific questions will change based on the project, here are some questions that are always relevant:
Who is your audience?
Understanding who you are creating content for is fundamental to successful content. Is it women ages 25-45? High school students? Nerds in Chicago? That’s the basis for your voice and tone, and sets up the rest of the work to be done.
What do they want to do on the site?
Ideally we’d talk to the prospective users to get this information, but if that’s out of scope we can get at the answers in other ways: analyzing current site analytics, keyword research, and interviewing people in your group who interact with your audience offline.
What do you need the site to do for you?
We believe successful content first meets the needs of users, but it also has to serve your purposes—and it can do both. Having clear goals for your content allows you to measure success in concrete terms. Common goals are things like increasing appointments or reducing calls. Once you’ve defined the goals, gather data as a baseline to compare before and after the new content goes live.
Those are the big three questions to start, but these are worth considering, too:
- Who will update the content and how often?
- Does the content meet a larger organizational goal?
- What do you want the visitor to do next?
- What are opportunities for images and video?
Thinking about questions like these helps focus content creation and prepares you for a successful project.
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