Web content development is the process of generating material that supports and promotes your online presence.
Throughout the course of developing your web content, you will brainstorm, plan, research, organize, and create content for online publication. And then you’ll publish it.
For a small business owner, this content should be designed with one purpose in mind: to advance the goals of your business.
It usually starts with your website, but web content can include any online content that represents you or your business. It consists of text, images, audio, and video that are accessible on the internet.
Establishing an online presence can be challenging, and it can be fun. If approached thoughtfully, it can be quite helpful in terms of marketing your business. In other words, smart web content development can lead to online success, and if a business operates mostly or entirely on the internet, then web content can make or break it.
The Importance of Web Content Development
Almost every day I am confronted with websites that were not properly developed. In some cases, it’s unclear what the website’s purpose is — the business offerings have not been clearly established. In other cases, the content is out of sync with the design — the planning and building were poorly executed. Many more websites are outdated and have never been updated or regularly maintained.
Businesses that take their online presence seriously and want to establish a strong hold in the online marketplace must treat their web content development with a sense of priority.
Whether you need a simple, three-page website or an elaborate site packed with content, you will find the process easier and more fruitful if you take the time to develop content that works effectively, content that helps your business reach its goals.
The Five Phases of Web Content Development
There are five phases in the web content development process. Each phase can be broken down into smaller stages, and each of these could take several days, several weeks, or several months, depending on how extensive your online presence will be. Let’s take a look at each of the five phases of web content development. Each phase is critical. Leave one out, and your online presence will suffer.
Phase One: Brainstorm (Conceptualize)
Concepts begin with an idea or a vision but also must have purpose. In this phase, you establish the purpose of your web content development plan. Why do you need an online presence? Are you trying to build a platform, find customers, or sell more widgets? You’ll also brainstorm during this phase. What information needs to be on your website? How much off-site content should you create to drive visitors to your site? Which mediums will you use — text, images, videos?
Phase Two: Plan (and Organize)
The planning phase is the most critical. Start by deciding what web content you absolutely need in order to achieve your goals, and then build that into a plan. Your plan can be long-term. You might want to end up with twelve pages of website content, fifty-two social-media graphics, six new ads, and four newsletters. Make a list of the content that needs to be created and the set up a schedule to create it. Use time to your advantage and work within your budget constraints. By regularly allocating time or funds to your web content development, you can execute your plan over time and keep your online presence fresh.
Phase Three: Build (Execute the Plan)
Building is when you put your concept and plan into action. You may have many components being built simultaneously: a website designer is creating and building your site while a copywriter prepares the text and a graphic designer creates eye-popping images.. A careful and well-laid plan will lead to an easier build. Toward the end of the building phase, you’ll start working on your launch.
Phase Four: Launch (Publish and Publicize)
It happens in a flash. After months of web content development, website design, and content writing, It’s time to launch (or relaunch) your website or start publishing your new content to the web. Some launches are quiet. Others are loud. Once the content goes live, you can start driving traffic to it. This is also part of the launch: spreading the word about your site (also known as online marketing).
Phase Five: Maintain (Update and Track)
After the launch, it might feel like all the hard work is over. That would be wrong. Everything on the web needs to be maintained. Some websites are maintained weekly or monthly. Some social media accounts are updated several times a day. Making updates and proactively managing your online presence and web content are critical to the success of your online presence. Make a plan to audit your website (review all pages) every fall. Review your social media profile to ensure all the information is current every spring. Set dates to replenish your content and add new material on a regular basis. And check your analytics to see how the content is performing.
Dig Deeper into Web Content Development
Want to dig deeper? Check out this series on web content development that delves deeper into each step:
- Brainstorm (conceptualize)
- Plan (and organize)
- Build (execute the plan)
- Launch (publish and publicize)
- Maintain (update and track)
What’s Your Web Content Plan?
Web content can be fun or tedious, but one thing’s certain: it’s essential for your business’s online success. Whether you’re building a website, creating a social media campaign, or launching a series of ads, you’ll need to content to show your prospective customers and clients. Follow these five phases, and you’ll have rock-solid content to give your business a sturdy presence on the world wide web.
Buzz Pro Studio provides website services to small businesses and independent professionals, specializing in website design and maintenance. For more information or to get a no-obligation quote, contact me.
Melissa Donovan is the founder of Buzz Pro Studio, providing website services to small businesses and independent professionals.