Why content is king
The old saying ‘content is king’ has never been more relevant than in today’s digital age, where many people consume most/all of their information online. Content that’s maximised for the unique online medium is essential to get your message across, and it’s critical to improving your users’ online experience.
Content and government
Government agencies at all levels have been working on consolidating their service offering and creating joined-up user experiences that truly focus on the citizen experience. Content and good copywriting is an integral part of this service.
In addition, with many agencies unifying platforms (e.g. the federal GovCMS and Victoria’s Single Digital Presence (SDP)), the barrier around technical/platform issues has been removed. However, the need to consolidate and deliver a better citizen experience means a lot of content needs to be audited, rewritten and rearranged, focusing on online best practice. This best practice also needs to extend to different channels. With headless (decoupled) content management systems (CMSs) changing how content is being published, content needs to be written with all channels in mind. For example, in addition to be written for the online medium, content also needs to be written with voice experience in mind.
The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has produced some great guides on various elements of the online experience, including its Content Strategy .
What is online writing best practice?
Research has shown that writing specifically for the unique online medium increases usability. For example, by writing concisely, writing for scanning readers and using objective language, you can increase site usability by 124% (source: Jakob Nielsen milestone research on writing for the ).
Online writing best practice uses these writing techniques, and others, to create the best user experience possible. Well-written copy also ensures your organisation’s credibility and should be written so that it’s clear, concise and consistent.
Writing for search engine optimisation (SEO) is another key area. Creating content that's optimised to answer a question is one of the best ways for your content to be ranked highly in a Google phrase search.
Keeping the user on the site for longer with engaging and easy-to-read content is an often overlooked part of an SEO strategy.
Salsa’s content services
Salsa’s content services cover the different stages of your website journey, from planning and strategy to training. Our services include:
- Content strategy
- Full content review/content audit
- Content creation/copywriting
- Content training
Your content strategy will follow the Digital Transformation Agency’s (DTA’s) content strategy , including:
- Identifying the problem space
- Notating business goals
- Analysing any user research that can inform the content strategy
- A review of your current content (including who owns it, when it was last updated, its traffic, etc.)
- Key insights that inform the content
- Success measures for the project
- Content governance model
- Identifying the content workflow required in your CMS
- Information architecture
- Search engine optimisation
- Editorial guidelines
- Next steps including activities and content timeline
Full content review/audit
We’ll work with your content team or project owner to review content in line with your business needs, user content needs and content strategy. This stage includes a full content audit, with recommendations on which content to keep, which content needs to be rewritten and which areas need content written from scratch.
We’ll write your new content and edit existing content, ensuring it aligns with your content strategy. Content will also be written in line with your SEO strategy and focused on the user/citizen journey. In many cases, content will also need to be rewritten with the voice experience in mind, focusing on question and answer format and even more concise content.
Our experienced and certified trainer will teach your content staff how to write in plain English, for government and for the unique online medium. The courses can be half-day courses or full-day courses and will focus on the theory behind good writing and how to put theory into practice. Training covers a range of writing best practice areas, such as writing in the active voice, writing concise sentences, structuring your content, using the inverted pyramid style, and following an editorial style guide.
Meet our content champion
Many of our content services are delivered by our content champion - Phillipa Martin. Phillipa has held a variety of marketing communications and content writing positions. She’s written content for many websites, covering everything from ASX-listed companies like BHP Billiton to SMEs. She’s across the government space and digital spaces, which allows her to immerse herself in content projects quickly and easily.
She’s also our resident writer for Salsa’s Digital Transformation in Government publication series and writes most of the content on the Salsa website.