When you're managing a blog with multiple writers, or working with external web content developers, one of the biggest challenges can be making sure that they're "on the same page" as your web content strategists. To capture your audience, branding and consistency throughout your content is vital. A cohesive site is a professional-looking site.
Website content templates are a great way to deal with this issue. Basically, these templates are something like an outline, except they don't just contain information on the content itself, but also instructions for how it's to be presented as well.
Who Needs Website Content Templates
These templates are a little bit of extra work, which everyone may not need to engage in. If your web content is being handled by just one or two people in-house, they probably aren't necessary. The people writing them are going to be familiar with their own strategies, or at least we'd hope so!
However, writing templates can come in useful when there's any sort of separation between your strategists and your writers. You need to remember that your writers only have as much information as you give them, so to adhere to your strategies, they need to know about them.
What Website Content Templates Look Like
These don't have to be pretty. Here's what one might look like, for a fictional Acme Internet Marketing company:
Blog Title: A Friendly Guide To Search Engine Optimization
Overall Purpose: Explain the basics of SEO to laymen or new small business owners
Secondary Purpose: Make Acme Internet Marketing appear fun and laid-back.
Tone: Casual, Humorous
Length: 500-600 Words
Keywords: SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Keyword Strategies
Keyword Rate: 1%, plus natural-language variations
Introduction: Cover failure of old Internet marketing with the old Gossage "what in the hell are billboards doing?" quote and extend to banner ads and popups. Without SEO, you might be running your business off a cliff.
First Point: Establish primacy of online searching for information-gathering, explain relationship between keywords and web results.
Second Point: Talk about keyword strategies, link to our Acme Keyword Generator.
Third Point: Demonstrate proper usage of keywords in a blog with a humorous hypothetical example, such as hobby rocketry.
Fourth Point: Hammer on the need to write blogs with good content that gets shared, otherwise you're just running into a stone wall.
Conclusion: SEO is the best way to market online, etc etc. Include a question that inspires the reader to comment.
Customizing Your Website Content Template
Obviously, that's just an example. It took me maybe ten minutes to write out, so it doesn't have to take much time if you (or your content strategist) knows what your content writing should look like.
Your own content templates can be as detailed or stripped-down as you want. If you don't trust your writer to flesh out points for themselves, you could include a more detailed outline. On the other hand, if you have good rapport with your writer, you might only need to include the basic information like length and keywords and an overall direction for the content.
Templates Tie Your Content Together
As we said above, you'll capture the interest of more of your visitors if you can present a site that's consistent in its tone and messaging. These sorts of content templates provide a simple and reliable way for your content strategists to communicate their wishes to your writers, and ensure everyone is working towards the same overall goals.
Has your business experimented with website content templates? Did it help you keep your writers in the loop and on-message?