23 Website Content Frameworks (proven ideas for non content creators)
Fraser McCulloch - Monday, February 05, 2018
Here are 23 website content frameworks that non content creators such as web designers, web developers and business owners can use as inspiration for your next or updated web pages, articles or blog posts.
I produce website content for 3 reasons :
- To answer users questions with an answers.
- To get found on Google and drive traffic to my website.
- To turn the reader into a subscriber.
Now, let’s get into the content frameworks and ideas you can use.
I always do research before preparing a new piece of content.
My favourite keyword research tool is called Ahrefs.
Ideally, I am looking for a topic to write about that has hundreds of related keywords, has over 1000 searches per month and low keyword difficulty.
When I know the keyword difficulty is low then I stand a good chance of ranking well and earning long tail traffic.
That’s provided I write a useful piece of content around the main search query.
An infographic is an ideal type of content to create as it can simplify complicated information.
I created an infographic of my business ideas blog post to summarise the best business ideas.
The infographic even earned 5 links from other websites.
Sign up for a free account at Canva.com and adapt any one of their free infographic templates.
Brand it up and make the content of your infographic useful for users.
Then you can publish your infographic on social sharing websites such as Visual.ly, Scoop.it and Flipboard.com.
Here’s another content framework.
Create a top 50 list.
A holiday destination client briefed me to do keyword research for their next blog post.
I discovered from the research a very popular search query.
“Places to visit in xxx”
So the client created a list of related, non competing places in the area.
And, of course, they put their business at number one on the list.
Then they reached out to the places and venues on the list to mention their inclusion; with the hope of striking up a conversation or backlink.
Curated content lists are where you write a page on your website and summarise and comment on a list of other website articles.
You simply add your unique opinion and commentary on what others have written.
For example, my recruitment client could publish a list of the top 10 mens interview suits.
They would source the list from other websites and write commentary on about why this suit works for an interview.
Some people, some products, absolutely need these instructions.
Where would we be today with those IKEA furniture step-by-step instruction guides?
Instructions are so powerful that IKEA even purchased TaskRabbit, a company of handyman who assemble furniture.
I published a 4000 word step by step guide to the broken link building process.
In an extremely difficult and hard to rank topic I’m currently on page 2 in Google.
And my YouTube video gets watch around 400 times per month.
When you create website content in the form of a recipe you aim to deliver an end result.
Consider a traditional cake recipe.
You need ingredients and then you need step by step instructions.
My website contains a host of previous website work and case studies.
Most web designers simply produce screenshots of the work they did.
I go beyond screenshots and explain the business rationale for re-designing or developing a website.
The case study adds business context to the project.
You may have seen this type of content used in diet products, home improvement and web design portfolios.
You show what a person, room or website looked like before and contrast it with the new improved version.
The key to this content framework are visuals; a dramatic change will highlight the improvements.
Here’s the before and after of a recruitment web design we did.
Before - this is their old home page.
After - this is their current home page.
I like to borrow content ideas from movies and books.
A good story is a way to attract and engage a person and get your message across.
My favourite writer has a great story on his website called Ranger Up Leads The Way.
It's about a business that drove $750,000 in social commerce sales as a result of the content they produced for their clothing business.
The page could have been called “how to create content for your business”.
But that would have been incredibly boring.
An emerging content framework is called documenting; popularised by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Love him or loathe him, documenting is where you create content as you are working towards a goal.
You don’t show the end results, you explain what you’re doing as you’re doing it.
Documenting is probably more suitable to those in their 20’s and 30’s.
Testimonials are great especially when clients or customers provide them without prompting.
Take websites like Amazon that have book reviews and testimonials rated by people who have purchased the product before you.
Testimonials reduce risk.
You can also install testimonial plugins such as Feefo to business and shopping websites to generate user generated testimonials.
Brent provides some great video interview content.
He teaches the business end of web marketing to designers and developers.
The video interview format give his potential and existing customers an insight into other people's experiences in business.
You do need good production values but video interview content adds the human element that written word sometimes does not convey.
Steven Pressfield talks about almost puking up when he and his business partner started doing video interviews to promote their new product.
After trial and error they figured out the best solution was not to talk to the camera but to let the camera roll and they just talk to each other naturally.
Creating website content for websites has been a common client issue for many web professionals.
I sat down with my client, Dave, in a restaurant and I read out a list of prepared questions about roofing.
I turned on the voice recorder on my iPhone and he replied with the answers.
The recorded answers from Dave were transcribed and put on his faq page.
Simple, easy and very powerful in conveying the client’s expertise in his profession.
The reason why ‘how to’ content is powerful is because people use Google to find a solution to their problem.
And Google aim to reward the best content for a users questions with top search rankings.
When skaters type “how to do a skateboard kick-flip” then they are looking for an answer to their problem.
And the best way to serve up a solution to create, for example, a ‘how to do a skateboard kick-flip’ page either on YouTube or on your website.
A worried client once told me he was concerned about this approach as he would lose potential customers if he showed or explained to prospective customers how he did things.
I replied ‘a 70 year old grandmother is not going to go up a pair of ladders to repair a roof and clean out the leaves from her gutters'.
She just wants to know you’re the expert she can call on.
How to start a how to guide
Start this process by typing “how to …” in Google.
You can have a bit of fun on Google messing around by simply typing different letters of the alphabet after you’ve typed “how to”.
Most people fear giving away their secret how to method.
But unless you own the secret recipe for Coke or IrnBru, rest assured, most people will never ever implement your 'how to' method.
But if the ‘how to’ that you write is really valuable for your audience, people will share it, like it and so on and then it becomes valuable to others.
I have lots of successful and failed website proposals I can turn to when I’m looking for website content ideas.
The following link is an adapted version of a proposal I created for the design and development of a recruitment website.
There’s nothing confidential in the proposal.
Adapting what I had already written saves me a bundle of time and less agony when creating or adding new content to my website.
Simon deliver mobile strategies for big brands and he produces a weekly report about what is happening in the industry.
He writes a weekly newsletter that he publishes on his Addictive Mobile website and in his newsletter.
Many would say this is curated content but what Simon does is translate what is happening in a way most people can understand the impact or opportunities for their business.
There’s a ton of quality content in each article and notice the calls to action at the end of the article.
Another content framework is to write a trends report.
I have an old website trends report here (that I need to update) that I created for web professionals in my industry.
I have a recruitment client and every year they publish a salary guide.
This guide to salaries that covers most job types is a useful resource for job seekers and human resource managers.
The only downside to these reports is that you have to update them.
Amy Hoy coined the phrase e-bomb as a content framework.
E stands for educational.
Your content should be educational as opposed to vain.
Amy creates her content in 3 steps; pain, dream, fix.
To find a prospects pain you find a common problem on a forum and note that.
Then you write down what it would be like if that pain went away (dream).
Then you list the steps to fix that pain.
So for example, look at this landing page.
- Pain - if vague link building blog posts leave you confused and unclear.
- Dream - Within 12 months I was getting over 1,000 organic visits per month and new leads.
- Fix - 10 link building lessons including how to do broken link building.
My recent blog post about website copy fixes is based around a 404, broken page that earned many backlinks in the past.
The old page content is slightly out of date but the theme or topic obviously resonated with all the people who linked to the page.
So I took the key headings of the broken page as a framework and then wrote my version of the post.
Instead of 10 tips in the original article I published 17 tips.
One method I find useful in creating content is to publish tips and tricks.
For example, I summarised 17 tips to improve or fix your website copy.
These suggestions came from my personal experience of improving my own website copy and pages.
A hack is simply a shortcut or something that makes you look clever.
I wrote a blog post on an SEO hack that I accidentally discovered in the search results.
And now that hack is used on every new blog post I create.
I have written 2 blog post guides and reviews about my suppliers product.
This review of Adobe hosting and CMS supplier is the second best page for organic traffic on my website.
And this blog post was written about the marketing automation company I use.
Why write a buyers guide and review ?
- Both pages rank on page one in Google.
- I know the products very well and can write without hiring an external copywriter.
- I am sharing my expertise.
- This type of content has the potential to earn links.
Here’s a reason for creating product comparison content.
During the purchasing process most people hesitate before buying.
This is called the evaluation of alternatives stage.
(I can still remember this lecture when studying marketing at university.)
You have a need for something, you find a potential product or solution and just before you purchase you hesitate.
The consumer is wondering if they are making the correct purchase choice.
So they search terms such as :
- Product alternative.
- Product reviews.
- Product A versus product B.
Months after I created my supplier review page I discovered the search query “adobe business catalyst v wordpress” in the related searches results.
I added a new product comparison content section to my page.
In reality, this product comparison merits its own dedicated page.
There’s a small UK e-commerce company basing their entire advertising campaign as a “Shopify alternative”.
Positioning your page content as an alternative or product A v product B allows you to piggyback on top of a much larger brand's success.
When you compare yourself to competing products be truthful; you don’t want lawyers emailing you.
The Skyscraper technique coined by Brian Dean is a content strategy where you find a piece of content that ranks or performs well and make it better.
All the content frameworks and ideas you have read today are based on the skyscraper technique.
For some reason, my original content ideas don’t rank, resonate or convert.
Call me a hack, unoriginal or a creative plagiarist but it won’t harm my think skin !
Were these 23 content frameworks useful ?
I hope you find or use just one of these content frameworks.
Creating content is similar to finding your sense of fashion.
Once you find something that fits you keep using it.