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Your job as a Web manager must be about a relentless focus on quality. Always put quality first, and you will create a Web site that delivers real and sustainable value.

Most Web sites that I come across are too big to professionally manage with the number of staff available. There might be a Web team of four people, yet they have a site that requires at least 10 to properly manage.

What happens when you have more content than you have people to manage?

  1. The quality of the content declines. People don't have time to write and edit properly. It becomes a volume-based approach. In many cases, proper editing gets ignored entirely.

  2. The metadata and classification is done poorly, if at all. People say that they're too busy to enter metadata, and they don't think properly about how to classify the content, so it often gets incorrectly classified.

  3. The content that has been published doesn't get reviewed. Nobody has time, and thus the proportion of out-of-date content grows.

Content is not about volume. In fact, you are much better off having no content than poor-quality content. If your content is badly written, you will damage your reputation. If it is inaccurate, you are publishing misinformation.

If you don't have good metadata and appropriate classification, then your content becomes much harder to find. Your search will become much less effective and your navigation much less useful.

If people can't easily find your content, they'll hit the Back button. If your content is not found, then you have totally wasted your time. You have created zero value.

I come across a lot of people who are working really hard on their Web sites. They are trying to do the very best they can. However, they are not as effective as they can be because they are overreaching. They are trying to publish more content than they can professionally manage.

Content management must always be about quality first, quantity second. Quantity is generally a dangerous thing to pursue on the Web. Even if you can maintain the quality of the content, if you increase the quantity you inevitably make it more difficult for people to quickly find what they need.

Most people I meet who have created overly large Web sites have done so because they want to help as many people as possible. They publish content because they think that somebody might be interested in reading it at some time.

These are noble objectives, but they nearly always lead to hugely inefficient Web sites.

Don't get locked into this counter-productive, volume-based approach. Focus on quality. Only publish more when you are sure that you can maintain the quality of your content—and the quality of your navigation and search.

Publish the Web site that you can manage. Design the Web site that your most important customers can find what they need in the shortest possible time.

Prioritize. Limit. Choose. A relentless focus on quality should be at the beginning, middle and end of your publishing process.

In that way, you will create genuine and sustainable value from your Web site.

MarketingProfs is bringing Gerry McGovern's "Killer Web Content" two-day master class to New York, Chicago and San Francisco this June. For more information, visit here.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Gerry McGovern
Gerry McGovern (gerry@gerrymcgovern.com) is a content management consultant and author. His latest book is The Stranger's Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online, which teaches unique techniques for identifying and measuring the performance of customers' top tasks.