On August 4, 2012, Saturday, if you are serious about learning or refining your content strategy skills, come to a custom hands-on workshop that Lisa Trager will conduct and don't forget to bring your laptop! 8:45 am - 9:30 am EDT - Registration & Breakfast
Read Lisa's article: Decide on Data, Not Guesses
Content Strategy Workshop
9:30 am -1:00 pm EDT - Workshop
(Live or Virtual)
is one of the most important phases of any project. Often given short-shrift in the budgeting and planning stage, this workshop will equip you with the reasons to fight for enough time to gain insights into your targeted audience. The site structure and nomenclature you recommend should be a result of quantitative analysis, which is done in Discovery. Three main components include:
- Competitive Analysis
- Using Metrics and Keyword research
- Stakeholder / User Research
Accomplishing these tasks will not only lend a hand in providing relevant content to your targeted audience, but will also help to ensure that your site is search engine optimized. After all, what’s the point of all that hard work if the site and specific topics can’t be found by search engines or – users!
Participants are invited to bring projects you are working on along with a list of competitor sites, metrics, and any other research you have or can share. Along with examples Lisa has to share, the workshop will be an opportunity to roll up your sleeves and apply templates, exercises and tasks to your projects.
The first step of any project should be intelligence gathering – otherwise known as competitive research. In addition to gaining insights into what the competition is doing, it can also help you understand the topic better and play a role in the script you prepare to meet your projects’ stakeholders. A template will be shared showing how you can gather information, which will catalogue tools, topics, and other features to keep in mind for your project and future gap analysis. Then this spreadsheet can also accompany and be the foundation of the presentation you deliver showing your competitive analysis.
In addition to a content audit, another good way to understand the current state of the site and more importantly, how it is being used is through analytics. Most sites are set-up with a plugin to software that will provide a reading of traffic to the site, user path, time on site and more. Whether the site uses proprietary software like Webtrends, or freeware like Google Analytics, it’s important to 1) know that some form of metrics has been setup over time to gain insight into users, 2) understand what these numbers mean; 3) plan for the future and the content that needs to be tagged to indicate key performance indicators. We will look for patterns and signs, which will help in the redesign to determine site structure, nomenclature, and what pages are important to save or remove.
We will also delve into the world of search engine optimization where metatags, alt text, the use of images and video all play an important role. In discovery, getting a list of search engine key words used to get to your site, as well as to the competition, can play an important role in building the sitemap and the nomenclature used for page titles and subheads. Longtail, short tail – we’ll address the meaning and benefits of each.
Being able to ask the right questions to the right people can also make a huge difference. We’ll discuss different scenarios of infield research or stakeholder interviews. What is the benefit of each and what are the types of questions to ask when interviewing stakeholders, subject matter experts, and users.
As content strategists, it is critical that we use research and real metrics to build a case around the recommendations we make to ensure a sound platform is constructed, which the rest of the team will use and build upon. This workshop intends to help you take away the guesswork and equip you with the tools that can make the difference.