Content Architecture, sometimes called Information Architecture, is the process of organizing content in a way that is meaningful, clear, and intuitive for the users of your website. This requires at least three things:
Too often the backend and human interface are designed before anyone conceptualizes and crafts the website content. Then the content has to be compromised to fit the medium, which is getting things backward. Your website is supposed to serve your content—not the other way around.
Too many times content is arranged from the inside out, the way a company is incidentally departmentalized. Such arrangements are usually a mistake, typically because they only reflect some historical legacy or the company’s internal operations, neither of which is important or intuitive to prospects. This creates unnecessary barriers, requiring your prospects “to know where to look” for the service that interests them, which can be daunting. For example, in which department should your prospect look if you are proffering features and benefits such as “cross-functionality”, “collaborative project management”, or “agile design?”
Both have beginning steps, ending steps, and ordinal steps in between. They must be broached in the correct sequence for maximum effectiveness. Website content is the same way. The order in which information is presented on your website should match that sales process. In fact, the best content architecture can do double duty as a training aid for new sales staff. As well, a collateral benefit of “content creation done well” is that it requires your sales & marketing team to define and articulate your human sales process if they have not done so already.