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Web Content Strategist's Bible

Web Content Strategist's Bible


Managing the creation and maintenance of Web content requires an understanding of not just Web writing, but of detailed, well-planned, realistic content development processes.

Those practicing the new discipline of Web Content Strategy are being called upon to help Web development teams navigate this new editorial ecosystem where content not only has to be written, but also broken up into thousands of pieces that have to be reviewed, approved, repurposed, edited for search engines, translated, localized, and generated using a new and complex set of tools and techniques.

The Web Content Strategist's Bible explains how the practice of Web content strategy can be used to effectively manage the size, scope, and cost of content-heavy Web development projects.
Presented in an easy, readable style, the book explains the fundamentals of Web content strategy using recent examples and the presentation of best practices. The book focuses on asking the right questions and gathering relevant information needed for efficient project planning and development.

Richard Sheffield is currently Managing Editor for a Fortune 50 corporation's Web site headquartered in Atlanta, GA. He specializes in Web site content management system issues, editorial workflow, and content development processes.

Prior to this, Richard was a Senior Content Strategist in IBM's Interactive Design Studio where he worked on Web content strategy engagements with a long list of IBM's top-shelf clients
Richard has a B.S. in Industrial Management from Georgia Tech and an M.A. in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Day I Doubled My Salary
  • Maybe All You Need to Do Is Ask
  • Is "Web Content Strategist" a Real Job?
  • What Is Web Content?
  • Working In the Web Design World
  • What Are the Projects and Who Are the Players?
  • A Day in the Life of a Web Content Strategist
  • Does This Sound Interesting to You?
  • Chapter 1— An Introduction to Web Content Strategy
  • What Is Web Content Strategy?
  • The Origins of Content Strategy
  • Web Content Strategist vs. Information Architect
  • Who Could Be a Web Content Strategist?
  • The Website Development Process
  • Chapter 2 — Why Web Development Project Plans Fail — And How
  • Web Content Strategy Can Help
  • Arbitrary Time Frames
  • Lack of Understanding of the Editorial Process
  • Failure to Really Plan for Missed Deadlines
  • Chapter 3 — Content Strategy During the Discovery Phase
  • Discovery Phase Documents/Deliverables
  • Content Project Summary Worksheet
  • Content Inventory Spreadsheet
  • Existing Content Audit
  • Content Datascape
  • Missing Source Content Report
  • Content Workshop Agenda
  • Chapter 4 — Content Strategy During the Analysis Phase
  • The Content Strategy Document
  • Existing Content Analysis
  • Content Gap Analysis of Current Site
  • Competitive Content Analysis
  • Editorial Process Analysis
  • Making Editorial Process Recommendations
  • Readiness Analysis
  • Chapter 5 — Content Strategy During the Design Phase
  • The Content Matrix
  • Building a Content Matrix
  • Content Matrix Rows
  • Content Matrix Columns
  • Editorial Style Guide
  • Sample Style Guide Table of Contents
  • Approval Process
  • Translation Process
  • WCMS Development Consulting
  • Chapter 6 — Content Strategy During the Build Phase
  • The Content Reviewer Guide
  • Content Strategist Tasks During the Build Phase
  • Maintaining the Content Matrix
  • Track and Complete the Project
  • Chapter 7 — Content Strategy During the Maintenance Phase
  • Ongoing Website Maintenance
  • Establishing an Editorial Calendar
  • Content Removal Process Description
  • Archival Plan and Policy
  • Chapter 8 — Content Strategy and Translations
  • Translation Impacts to the Project Plan
  • Creating a Master Translation Glossary
  • Translation SME Issues
  • Vendors and Translation Memory
  • Estimating Translation Word Counts
  • Specifying Languages and Countries
  • Internationalization vs. Localization
  • Content Control
  • Translation Issues and the Content Strategist
  • Chapter 9 — Search Engine Optimization and Content Strategy
  • Focus on Google
  • What Pages Should Be Optimized?
  • SEO Revolves Around Keywords
  • Keyword Focused SEO Process
  • Step 1 — Creating the Initial Keyword List
  • Step 2 — Test the Initial Keyword List
  • Step 3 — Identify Keywords That Need Improvement
  • Step 4 - Match the Keywords That Need Improvement to Individual Web Pages
  • Step 5 - Use SEO Techniques to Adjust These Pages
  • On-Page SEO Factors
  • Step 6 - Retest and See if the Changes Improved in the Search Results
  • Step 7 - Repeat
  • Chapter 10 — What You Need to Know about Web Content Management Systems
  • Why Is It Important to Know about Web Content Management Systems?
  • What Is a Web Content Management System?
  • Separating Content from Presentation
  • Metadata
  • Input Templates
  • Workflow Automation
  • Who Are the Big Players?
  • Interwoven TeamSite
  • Vignette
  • Documentum
  • Why Is Understanding WCMS So Important?
  • Chapter 11 — Getting Your First Job as a Web Content Strategist
  • Finding Web Content Strategist Jobs
  • The Right Attitude
  • The Jobs Are There
  • Appendix A — Supporting Research
  • Morkes and Nielsen, 1997
  • Morkes and Nielsen, 1998
  • Princeton Survey Research Associates, 2000
  • Appendix B — Content Strategist Job Duties and Descriptions
  • Appendix C — Abbreviations
  • Appendix D — Access to Online Bonus Material
  • Index 201


  • Figure 1 — Content Matrix Example
  • Figure 2 — Approval Process Diagram Example
  • Figure 3 How to Identify Ranking Position in Google Results. Ignore the Paid Results at the Top.
  • Figure 4 — WCMS Input Template Example


  • Table 1— Content Project Summary Worksheet
  • Table 2 — Content Inventory Worksheet
  • Table 3 — Existing Content Audit Spreadsheet
  • Table 4 — Content Workshop Agenda
  • Table 5 — Existing Content Analysis Report
  • Table 6 — Content Gap Analysis Spreadsheet
  • Table 7 — Competitive Content Analysis Spreadsheet
  • Table 8 — Sample Style Guide Table of Contents
  • Table 9 — Master Translation Glossary Example



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