Key takeaways in this post:

  • A content matrix serves as a blueprint for your website. It’s a tool that helps you implement content strategy recommendations in the short and long term.
  • The content matrix details suggestions for each section and page on your website.
  • Tips for creating and maintaining an effective content governance plan.

A content matrix serves as a blueprint for your website. It’s a tool that helps you implement content strategy recommendations in the short and long term.

It also helps track or manage the health and maintenance of your content.

A content matrix includes the following components:

  1. A site-wide navigation overview: This outlines the site’s menus, including any dropdown menu recommendations and link destinations. It also ensures consistent and clear navigation.
  2. Comprehensive content strategy recommendations: The content matrix details suggestions for each section and page on your website. And those recommendations guide content creation, messaging and stakeholder interviews.

Content matrixes don’t come in a one-size-fits-all format. Since healthcare organizations have unique content needs, you need to tailor your matrix to your brand.

Here are five elements to consider when building a content matrix:

1. Goals

Understand your website’s goals. What do you want it to achieve? Align your content matrix with these objectives.

2. Stakeholder interviews

Gather insights from stakeholders. Their input helps shape the matrix and ensures it meets their needs.

3. Site visitor input

Consider the user experience and expectations. What do your visitors want to see? Use this data to inform your matrix.

4. Competitive analysis

Conduct a gap analysis to study competitors’ websites. Identify strengths and weaknesses to inform your content strategy.

5. Content audit

This is an essential step! Assess your existing content.

What can you reuse, repurpose or retire? A spreadsheet with columns for “keep,” “edit” and “delete” helps organize your findings.

  • Keep content with high traffic and engagement.
  • Edit content with high traffic but low engagement (Improve it!).
  • Delete content with low traffic and engagement.

Now that you have insights from interviews, user research and your content audit, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and build your matrix.

Here’s a basic rundown of what it should include:

  • Pages: List all the pages you plan to have on your website. This includes main navigation items and any other key areas.
  • Subpages: If you have subpages, list them under their corresponding main page.
  • Source URLs: Link to existing pages. If combining pages, link to the ones you need to consolidate.
  • Recommended URLs: Include links to pages that you should create or update.
  • Metadata: Include page titles, descriptions, keywords and other relevant metadata.
  • Target audience: Determine the audience for each piece of content.
  • Keywords: Identify relevant keywords to optimize each page for search engines.
  • Content recommendations: Note any changes needed, what messages to include and which stakeholders to interview.
  • Governance: Assign ownership, including writers, editors, etc., to ensure timely updates and maintenance.
  • Taxonomy or content management system (CMS) needs: Note any specific taxonomy or CMS requirements for each piece of dynamic content.

This matrix will serve as a roadmap for creating and organizing your content. You may find pages that need refreshing. Or you may need to create new pages to fill in the gaps.

A web content matrix can take many forms, depending on the needs and preferences of your team.

You may prefer a simple spreadsheet format. You can also use project management tools or specialized content planning software.

At WG Content, our preferred format for a web content matrix is a dynamic spreadsheet. This allows us to easily update and track progress on each page.

It also allows for easy collaboration with team members.

Here’s an example of what our web content matrix looks like:

Example of content matrix

Example of a content matrix spreadsheet. Click to enlarge.

Developing a content matrix is intensive work that starts months before a redesign project. At WG Content, we specialize in content matrixes, content audits and gap analyses.

Whether your site needs a complete overhaul or a refresh, we have the tools to help. Contact us to start your project.

A content matrix is a governance tool that serves as a blueprint for your website. It outlines site-wide navigation, content recommendations and more.

Inputs include goals, stakeholder interviews, site visitor input, competitive analysis and a content audit. These inputs help determine the direction and structure of your web content.

Use insights from interviews, research and your content audit to create a structured matrix that guides content creation and maintenance. Start by identifying top-level categories, then break them into subcategories and specific page topics. Don’t forget to include keywords and a plan for ongoing updates.

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