What You Can Do to Get Ready
Having a website isn’t just about
programming or publishing the site. If you want a website that
really works, it’s important that your content supports both
your organizational goals and your users' needs. There are a
number of steps you can take to plan and prepare for your
Plan Your Site
Identify Who in Your Organization Will Be Involved
Since websites are strategy-driven projects, defining
roles is essential for planning, content development and site
- set strategic objectives, define purpose
- include senior leadership, strategist(s) and key
- responsible for planning, producing and stewarding the
- responsible for creating and maintaining content (editorial,
- include authors, subject matter experts (SMEs), editors and
Develop a strategy and define the purpose and positioning of your site
Identify where you want your website to go; for example, what
needs must your website achieve? What messages or information do
you need your users to understand? Talking with key stakeholders
will help you develop a shared vision of what you want your final
website to achieve. This is known as a business
Set your objectives
- Listen to key stakeholders.
- Define common objectives.
- Work through disconnects.
Clarify your audiences
- You can’t position for everyone.
Identify key messages
- What are the messages your visitors must take away from your
Define success measurements
- How will you determine if your site is a success?
Prepare Your Content
Conduct Inventory and Assess Quality
Where am I now? Assess
the current state of your website. What information does it
currently contain and what is the quality of the information? This
is the Web
Sort through what is there
- Review your entire site.
- View your other collateral (print, videos, email
- Create an inventory.
- Quality content supports strategic objectives and meets your
Purge unnecessary content
- If it is not used and does not support objectives, get rid of
Make sure everything that you keep has value
- Is the content worth the “cost” of sustaining
and does it have a purpose?
Revising and Preparing Content
Think about how to create
content that satisfies your business/organizational needs and
the needs of your audience. You may know what you want to tell your
audience, but it is equally important to understand the needs of
your audience and how these needs might be very different from what
you initially envisioned. This is called the content
Identify what needs to be created
- Determine updates from the content audit.
- Find the missing pieces to support the business objectives and
Write to support key messages
- Every piece of content is an opportunity to put forth
Edit for tone and style
Don’t forget that a picture is worth 1,000 words and a video 100,000