Planning a web content management strategy

I’m working on a project for a UK public sector site that involves analysing lots of legacy web content. The work also involves restructuring the site with a new, straightforward, navigation. Findability and interesting, relevant content are key. In parallel, I need to improve the site’s performance in search engine results.

Being new to formal SEO, I started by looking at Nick Garner’s SEO success map, which I saw Nick show at WordCampUK 2008. I gulped at the scope and asked the Twitterverse for their opinion. The responses were interesting:

Considering these opinions, and Adam Maltpress‘ ideas on SEO considerations in the context of public sector sites, I pulled the strands together in a mindmap (pdf, 104kb). I created the mindmap to help my thinking. I hope it’s general enough for others to plan how to build, restructure or develop their own web content.

The overarching ideas behind my approach are:

Limited resources

You have limited resources so you need to concentrate on areas you can control. I’ve arranged the mindmap into sections so you can make incremental improvements to specific areas.

Driven by content

Your strategy is content-driven. It’s about writing interesting content that’s relevant to readers. It’s about optimising your site structure to make content findable.

Organic SEO

No sneaky tactics; no link exchange programs. The SEO benefits of a strategy like this will come from:

  • Writing interesting content which other people link to
  • A site structure that search engines can crawl successfully
  • Great post on content strategy.. LOVE the mindmap you put together… will definitely be using this in an upcoming post!

  • Hi Andy. Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad you found the mindmap useful!

  • Gavin, thank you for sharing this document. This is the first time I’ve seen anyone attempt a content strategy mindmap – you’ve covered a lot of ground, here. It should be very useful to anyone who’s interested in seeing a high-level snapshot of the content lifecycle and all the associated players.

    There’s going to be a content strategy consortium held in Memphis, TN this March – I’m facilitating, and I’d love to share this document with the group. May I?

  • Hi Kristina. The mindmap format was part experiment really. I was struggling to describe the elements and linkages of a content strategy and the resources involved in a sequential form. So, I thought I’d just get all of the ideas down and then see how they fit together. This seems to have struck a chord with a few people. I think it also reflects the chaotic world of content managers and the ‘hats’ we wear.

    You’re welcome to use the document at the event in Memphis.

  • Richard Sheffield has produced this interesting mindmap on web content strategy structured around four components: technical; creative; process and design.