The Website Content Outline

Creating a Content Outline is a critical step in the web design process, providing a blueprint for the structure and content of a website. This document serves as a guide for both the development team and the client, ensuring that the final website meets the client’s business goals and growth opportunities. Here is a detailed run-down of the steps involved in creating a Content Outline, what’s delivered to the client, the process involved, and its importance prior to beginning development.

Understanding the Client’s Needs

  • Initial Client Interview: Conduct an extensive interview to understand the client’s business goals, target audience, and their expectations from the website.
  • Assessment of Growth Opportunities: Analyze the client’s market, competitors, and potential areas for growth to inform the content strategy.

Research and Analysis

  • Competitor Analysis: Study competitors’ websites to identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for differentiation.
  • SEO Keyword Research: Perform keyword research to understand how target users search for the client’s products or services. This informs content sections and hierarchy.

Content Structuring

  • Sitemap Creation: Develop a sitemap outlining the main navigation and structure of the website, including all pages and their hierarchical relationship.
  • Content Breakdown for Each Page: For each page listed in the sitemap, detail the content elements or sections that will be included. This may cover headings, text blocks, images, videos, and any custom content types.

Detailed Content Outline

  • Page-by-Page— Planning Content Elements:
    • Homepage: Introduction to the business, key services, unique selling propositions (USPs), and calls to action (CTAs).
    • Services Page: Detailed breakdown of services offered, including the Content Outline service. For the Content Outline service, specify the process, benefits, and how it integrates with overall web design services.
  • Functionality Requirements: For each page or section, specify any special functionality requirements, such as contact forms, integration with external APIs, or custom interactive elements.

Client Collaboration

Feedback and Revisions: Share the initial draft of the Content Outline with the client. Gather feedback and make necessary revisions to ensure the outline aligns with the client’s vision and objectives.

Finalizing the Content Outline

Approval Process: Once the client is satisfied with the Content Outline, obtain formal approval to move forward with content creation and web development.

Importance of the Content Outline

  • Foundation for Development: The Content Outline serves as a foundational document guiding the development and design of the website, ensuring all team members are aligned on the project’s scope and objectives.
  • Ensures Alignment with Business Goals: By outlining the content structure and elements upfront, the project stays focused on meeting the client’s business goals, improving the site’s effectiveness in driving growth.
  • Efficiency and Clarity: Having a clear Content Outline agreed upon by both the client and the development team prevents scope creep and ensures that the development process is efficient, with fewer revisions and misunderstandings.