Five Reasons Why Website Content Should Not be an Afterthought

Producing quality content for your new website is a time-consuming process.  However, if you don’t invest the necessary time and thought into the content process, your site will suffer.  Below are five consequences of failing to give proper consideration to content when you are launching a new site or a redesign of your existing site.

1. Website Launches are Delayed

Content is the number one cause of website launch delays. We cannot launch your site with blank or incomplete pages. Delays in content production produce bottlenecks in the process, stalling other stages of the web process such as design and development.

Action Tip: Start thinking about your content as soon as – or before – you kick off a new website project. Don’t automatically migrate all of your current site’s content to the new site. Take the time to thoughtfully review, update, edit and add content.

2. Content Quality Suffers

Law firms often get caught up in the creativity of the design process because it is visual and exciting. At the same time, firms often underestimate the time it takes to create useful, SEO-friendly content. At the 11th hour, they may rush to launch the website and decide to add or edit content at a later date.  As a result, content quality suffers.  Poor content quality can translate into lower site rankings, higher bounce rates, fewer conversions and a poor user experience.

Action Tip:  Don’t underestimate the amount of time it takes to produce quality content for your site.  When budgeting time for content creation, a good rule of thumb is to budget three hours per page.  Allot time for each stage in the content process, including concept, research, writing, editing, proofing, approval, uploading, quality assurance and publishing.

 3. Costs Increase

Waiting to the last minute to produce content can impact your budget.  You may need to hire copywriters, pay rush fees or invest time and money to edit or rewrite the content after launch.  Content delays can also delay your website launch altogether, causing you to lose valuable revenue or potential clients.

Action Tip:  Formulate a content strategy at the beginning of your website project that designates what pages need to be written and edited.  Assign team members to each piece of content and set deadlines for completion. If you are short on time or talent, invest in an experienced legal web writer.

4. Design Suffers

We encourage clients to produce content before we begin the design process.  This content-first approach enables our design team to create templates based on actual content and allows key content messages to be incorporated into the design concepts.  Without content, the designers must work in the dark, guessing at the amount and type of content that will be presented on your site.  Designing before content is provided can lead to redesign costs and delays down the road.

Action Tip:  Start writing your content before the design process begins.  We recommend writing your home page first so that our designers can insert it into the home page design concepts.  After your home page is complete, write your landing pages and subpages.  Keep in mind content that is not critical at launch can be easily added after launch.

5. Search Engine Optimization Suffers

If search engine optimization (SEO) is important to your web project, keep in mind that content plays an essential role in site rankings.  Longer content pieces (500+ words per page) and pages that support your keywords are critical to a successful SEO campaign.   Neglecting to create and optimize your content will cause your site to fall in search rankings.

Action Tip:   Determine what keyword phrases you want to target before you begin creating your content.  Then create new pages to support each keyword in your SEO campaign and optimize existing content with your keywords.  Be sure to weave your keyword phrases into the content several times per page.

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