Jacqueline Tung Project Manager
May 22, 2024
We are Content Therapists

The saying “content is king”, a cliche at this point, hearkens to an essay written by Bill Gates in 1996 about the future of the Internet, in which he predicted that “those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products—a marketplace of content.”

A website is a storehouse and delivery device for content. It’s the reason the Internet was invented and the reason websites exist. In previous blog posts, we’ve quibbled over whether Drupal should be considered a “content management system” or a “content management platform,” but there’s no question of the centrality of content to it all.

The irony is that content is usually the last thing on clients’ minds when they come to us. Typically, clients come to us because they need to migrate to a new version of Drupal or away from another platform, or they are looking for a new look and feel. They don’t always ask the question: “Is our content serving us?” Not considering content in a web project is like a restaurant undergoing a major overhaul and not questioning what’s on the menu.

What Makes Us Content Therapists?

Like a regular therapist, our job is to listen to our clients’ website issues, look at their sites, diagnose the problem, and offer solutions.

Clients often come to us with websites that are underperforming in one respect or another. Perhaps traffic is stagnating or the client is getting word that visitors can’t find crucial information. Perhaps it’s just a gut feeling that a site is past its sell-by date. Not all website problems are content problems, but very often content issues are to blame.

What are Typical Content Problems?

Typically, when a site is underperforming in terms of traffic, we find that its content is either out of date, too voluminous, and/or in need of restructuring. Many of our clients are large organizations with enormous volumes of content that need to be available on the web. Without the right organizational structure, it can become impossible for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

We can’t “fix” people’s content since we’re not the subject matter experts. As with regular therapy, real lasting change is self-driven and the client will have to rewrite and reorganize content, and ensure that the new systems for managing content continue to be used. But therapy helps, and we would be more than happy to provide counseling on how you might transform your own content for better site performance.

How Does Content Therapy Work?

Our approach to counseling clients on content consists of these five steps:

  1. Content audit and analysis
  2. Strategic communications planning
  3. Content planning
  4. Content creation
  5. Ongoing management

The content audit stage is a crucial part of the service we provide. It’s a deep dive into how your content is performing to determine how it might be repositioned, overhauled, or eliminated. With most sites, wl employ automated site crawlers like Screaming Frog or Dynomapper.

If your organization doesn’t have a strategic communications plan in place, we can certainly help with this, although you, as the subject matter expert, will be the one to lead the process. This plan, once in place, will help guide you through the content planning process and will offer suggestions based on the results of the content audit.

The content creation phase is the step we have the least to do with, as writing web copy is usually the client's work. We can help, though, by suggesting strategies for content production and helping you delegate roles and responsibilities. We can also offer long-term support in the ongoing management of your content. It’s good to have regular check-ins with your therapist to make sure you’re on track. 

We’re Here to Help

None of this is a one-and-done undertaking, but rather an ongoing lifecycle for your content. A website redesign or migration is a perfect opportunity to take a critical look at your content, but these steps can be undertaken at any time. 

It takes a lot of time and effort to create good content, so it pays to have a good strategy in place to make sure people are finding and engaging with it. Great material can underperform if it is poorly organized or not optimized for search engines. Content may be king, but the title of king doesn’t mean much if the kingdom is in disarray.

If you feel like your content is underperforming, we’d love to help you optimize your site to ensure that it is fine-tuned and easy to find. And if you’re due for a website refresh or overdue for a migration out of Drupal 7, these would be perfect opportunities to take a critical look at your content.

Contact us today and so we can help you better share your content with the world.