Benefits of the Contentful Content Model

Thought Leadership

By Felipe Silberstein | November 03, 2021
Man interacting with a life-sized website

Contentful is a polyglot headless CMS that provides a content infrastructure for your business. The headless approach decouples the front-end from the back-end of your site, giving you more flexibility in how you manage your content.

At the core of Contentful’s approach is a concept called ‘content modeling.’ This is the way the platform organizes content, providing you with a seamless structure to swap in content elements and types. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Contentful’s content model and the benefits that it provides for enhancing your overall digital assets and brand appeal. 

Content modeling basics

Let’s start by getting clear on what a content model is. You can think of a content model as the bones or structure that forms the foundation for your content management system. This structure acts as the connection point between each content type in your platform. These content types could be individual units, or a group of units, that you regularly use, like images, videos, or text.

You have the ability to create individual content types that you’ll use most often, so you can easily pull them into your pages. By categorizing each element and defining the relationships between them, teams can build a content model that best suits the needs of your organization. Essentially, you are no longer constrained to the templates and predefined content blocks that are common with traditional CMS platforms. You have the ability to customize everything. 

Another benefit to embracing this content modeling approach is that you can reuse components anywhere across your digital asset landscape. This means that if you modify the content block, you can have the changes automatically reflected wherever that content block appears. 

At Apply Digital, we leverage this content modeling approach often. Coupled with the principles of atomic design, we’re able to create highly customized systems that empower our clients to manage and improve their content well into the future.

Enhancing digital experiences

Contentful organizes content into groups that allow you to bundle all of a project’s related elements together. These elements could be everything from text entries to multimedia files, or specific parameters you want to set to localize content in different languages. 

Taking this modular approach enables you to curate the digital experiences for your end user, providing consistency and sophistication to each touchpoint of the customer journey. With this system, your content will be engaging, lightweight, accessible, and reusable.

Simplified content updates

Another benefit of Contentful’s ‘content model’ approach is that both front-end and back-end stakeholders on your team can customize content easily.

Since the platform works with a ‘decoupled’ front-end and back-end, both teams can work in parallel — making updates to design, supporting development, and front-facing content easily. This helps you get your new content and launches out the door quicker than if you were using a monolithic platform. 

For example, if your development team is working to launch a new search system connected to your platform, the design team can simultaneously sketch out the arrangement of content types. Once your content team has all the specific pieces ready, everyone can work together to quickly assemble and deploy the new content on your platform. These streams of work can happen in any order, making for a highly agile way of working. 

Another advantage of using a content model is that it allows you to test different content and make necessary adjustments. If you have A/B tests you want to perform to improve conversion on your home page, you can easily and quickly post content to test. 

Improving content consistency

As you can see, having a content model helps reduce friction points in the editing and design process. This, in turn, helps you provide more consistent experiences for your end users. No matter what type of device people choose to connect with you, they’ll experience the same quality of content.

A common concern for content managers is providing sub-par content experiences across different devices or regions. This typically happens when different digital channels don’t communicate with each other well or elements are couched in static, monolithic structures. 

Content modeling solves these problems as you can customize every element of your content workflow, and get your changes out the door quickly. 

Improved organic search rankings

Another benefit of using content modeling is that you have the power to structure your pages to best show up in search engine results. By taking control of each element on your page, you can improve the way people and search engines navigate your site, and consume content. 

Structurally, it’s Contentful’s Content Delivery API (CDA), coupled with a CDN, that makes it possible to deliver content quickly and boost your search engine rankings. 

At Apply Digital, our mission is to help innovative brands build modern, future-proof digital assets to solve even the most complex business problems. If you would like support establishing your content management system, reach out to someone on our team, and we’d be happy to help.