Producing website copy doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Sure, if you’re writing for a huge website, you may have a long road ahead of you, but you can streamline the process with a website content outline template. Don’t think of it as an outline that promotes cookie-cutter content. It simply helps you stay in line with writing best practices and CMS requirements, as well as gives you the assurance that what you produce is in line with your content strategy.
Let’s look at how you can use a website content outline template to create killer copy. And don’t miss our FREE TEMPLATE download at the bottom of this post.
Applying Your Content Strategy to Web Copy
Using a template, sometimes called a page table, works as a guide. The guide helps you keep your strategy top of mind. The essential aspects of the page table include:
- What do you expect this content to initiate?
- What is the action readers should take after consuming the information?
- What key topic cluster does this page fit?
- Are you using positioning language (i.e. value proposition, unique selling proposition, or elevator pitch)?
- To what audience or persona, are you writing?
- What stage of the buyer’s journey does the page belong?
- What keywords are you using?
- What are the meta title and description?
- What existing content can you use as internal links?
Benefits of Using a Website Content Outline Template
There are many advantages when using a template. Website content is much different from other types of content. Your home page and subsequent pages serve multiple purposes.
Website Copy Plays Many Roles
They introduce your story to possible customers. These pages also work to improve organic search rankings. The content must be compelling, relevant, and engaging. Otherwise, visitors will bounce right out. What you say on your website pages must also elicit curiosity with strategic calls to action (CTAs). The goal is to hook them and keep them on the site.
Because web pages must wear many hats, it’s a good idea to use a template. The template gives you the ability to systemize production. That doesn’t mean it becomes robotic. Rather, it sets up the expectations and parameters.
You Won’t Forget the Details
Leveraging your template also means you don’t forget the details. Content production is much more than the words. There’s also a strategy behind it. The template checks off each of these details like keywords, meta, and other optimization practices.
Maintain Consistency and Meet Due Dates
Using a template assists with consistency. Just as you use a content strategy to assure message and voice uniformity, the template does this for website copy. If you have multiple writers, giving them such a tool ensures everybody’s on the same page.
Having the template also improves your content workflows. The most crucial benefit is publishing on time. Everything on your content calendar has a due date. Regularly meet them with a template that fills in all the elements.
Developer Handoff Is Easier
It’s easy to see the benefits of using a template. It fosters consistency and maintains a process. That’s great for strategists and writers. It also helps developers and UX designers.
The template enables a content-first approach. This strategy makes what you submit to developers easier for them to understand. It gives them clarity. It outlines exactly how the copy fits for the web page. There’s no room for confusion.
Is a Template Necessary for Every Page?
That’s a fair question. The answer depends on the scale of your website. How many pages do you have? If it’s a website with thousands of pages, it may be hard to scale. But not impossible. What can make it possible is using content marketing software.
Even with this tool, the breadth of the site may still be too large. In that case, you might use different templates. If you’re working on a law firm website and every attorney has a page, it would add up fast for large firms. In this example, the content is really a biography.
Adjust the template to organize the process. Each page will look the same with a headshot, bio, and practice focus.
In the case of having an average number of pages, you should use the template. Don’t think of it as one more process document. It’s not stifling creativity. Rather, it’s a way to structure ideas while adhering to best practices.
Where Should Website Content Outlines Live?
When creating the outlines for each page of new copy, it’s likely a collaborative project. Different people on your team will need to contribute. For example, the content strategist may indicate the goals and key messages. An SEO specialist may determine the keywords and meta. Finally, a copywriter will supply the actual content.
Where can they all collaborate? Content collaboration is easy with a content marketing platform. With technology, you can organize efforts and improve productivity. These content planning tools enable a more open and flexible structure.
The Post-Writing Checklist
After a writer concludes the template, he or she should go through the checklist. The DivvyHQ template provides one. You can always adjust it to align with your content strategy.
The checklist serves as a quality assurance (QA) process. Some of the items pertain to details like length and grammar. The questions go deeper than just aesthetics. They remind the writer of the goals and objectives set.
Using these questions is also an excellent way to analyze the content’s effectiveness. Much of which is in relation to readability. Readability has become a critical part of the content. It’s one of the ways Google assesses content for ranking. The template should encourage headers, shorter sentences and paragraphs, bullets, and a conversational tone.
Download the Killer Webpage Copy Template
Your website content outline template awaits. Download this free resource today to streamline and improve the quality of your website content.