Is Your Content Really King?

So I am a technology guy and as the 'technology guy' it is somewhat out of character for me to get up on a soapbox about content  So what horrific crime has been committed against content that a self professed geek would care to blog to the world about it?  Neglect. Yes you heard me right, neglect. You buy a CMS to manage the content, invest in SEO to drive traffic to content and spend money on search technology to help people find your content.  In our new world of web 2.0 you are now syndicating content, and using technology like RSS to distribute this content. But the ugly truth is that more often than not I am building empty sites only to have companies carelessly cut and paste their old content into the 'new' site. There is often little regard to the quality or relevance of their content.

We do talk about content early and often with our clients, but it's often met with a series of excuses that leads to content neglect:

  • "Don't worry about it, we will take care of the content internally"
  • "Let's just get the site built first"
  • "We don't have the time now, we will fix it later"
  • "We'll just go with what you have in the information architecture as placeholder content"
  • "Our content is fine"

So how do you stop content neglect?  It starts with understanding the value it has to your website, user experience and overall business. It should be one the first things you start working on once you have agreed to a site structure. Content development needs dedicated resources internally and the process should run parallel to the entire development project. 

Don't think it will be easy. It is one of the hardest and most time consuming parts of any CMS implementation and requires continued attention to get it right. But it is the reason you got a CMS in the first place, right? Otherwise you would have just bought a "Management System."

About the Author
George Ross

With more than a dozen years of experience leading enterprise web projects, George has seen the good, bad and ugly when it comes to CMS deployments. George brings an objective eye and a healthy dose of cynicism in evaluating the role of technology in the enterprise.

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