At Iceberg Web Design, we take a content-first approach to building websites. That’s because the content is what expresses your brand’s message. It is how website visitors experience your brand’s voice and learn about your values. To express these things accurately, we will begin the process by having a content interview.
What Happens in a Content Interview?
Nearly all our content interviews are now held via a Zoom call. This began, of course, during the pandemic, but it has turned out to be an improvement in the process in many ways. For example, on a Zoom call, I share my notes with you on the screen so that if I make any errors or miss any essential details, you can let me know right away.
Every Content Interview is Unique
A content interview is as unique as the business I am writing about. But there are similarities in the process. For example, I always prepare for a content interview by creating my list of questions after the kickoff meeting. I do this while everything I have learned about your business and the goals you have for your website are fresh in my mind.
Some Basic Parts of the Content Interview
I always start the content interview by verifying the contact information that will be on your website. This includes the email addresses you would like displayed and where you want your contact form submissions to be sent.
This is a question that people are often unprepared for. I ask if you are a member of any professional organizations. Do you have any certifications or awards? The logos of these affiliations look great on your website, and having them prepared helps a lot.
The Site Map
We usually begin talking about the site map during the kickoff meeting. This gives you a chance to consider different options for organizing your website. Then, at the beginning of the content interview, we will finalize the site map.
About Your Business
I will ask a lot of questions about you and your business. Sometimes people are uncomfortable with this. They don’t think this information is essential or are shy about expressing their accomplishments and values. But this information is vital to creating a website that accurately reflects your brand.
Many people are now choosing the companies they patronize based on the values of that company. For example:
- Are you a local family business?
- Do you use all renewable energy?
- Do you participate in a charitable organization?
These are things that make you unique.
Your Products or Services
We will talk in-depth about the products and services you offer to your customers. It is helpful to share any written information you already have on them, such as marketing pamphlets, pdfs, etc. This can save time and ensure a more accurate final product. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel.
Ensuring a Successful Content Interview
You can do several things to help make your content interview especially successful.
- Be on time – We only have an hour, so we need to make every minute count.
- Be open – It will be much easier to get through the interview if you openly answer my questions. I am here to be an asset to you and the creation of your website. Trust that I have your company’s best interests in mind.
- Be willing to follow our process – Design is an essential part of your website project, but that comes later. So, for now, be ready to set aside any ideas you have about your website’s design and focus only on the content. This will keep us on track.
- Ask questions – Even though I am interviewing you, you can, and should, ask any questions you have. I am happy to answer them or find the answers for you.
Content Is More Than Words
The content of your website is anything that a visitor can see when they visit your site. This includes all the written words as well as assets such as:
- White Pages
- Case Studies
- Blog Posts
One of the things that I do as a content writer and consultant is organizing all these assets alongside the written content.
After the Content Interview – The Follow-Up Email
There will be questions that you don’t have the answers to throughout the content interview. You might ask me questions about which I need to talk to a teammate. In my notes, I will highlight these items so that I can refer to them later and include them in a content interview follow-up email.
I will also list assets that will need to be gathered. It’s important to gather these assets and answer any questions I pose as soon as possible so that I can begin working on the first draft of your content. Continued communication between us is essential. There will be more back and forth during the content phase of your project than in any other. It is worth it.
Do You Need Better Content?
Professionally written and organized content is the foundation of a great website. At Iceberg Web Design, we take your content seriously and prioritize it. If you need a new website or your website’s content needs an update, contact us to see how we can help.