Image by Jacob Bøtter via Flickr
Your web content isn’t your web content.
You might be writing it, it may be hosted on your website, you might have complete control over every facet of its creation and publication. But it’s not yours… or at least it shouldn’t be if you want to get the most out of it.
Outstanding web content is ALWAYS created for your site visitors…
If you’re still creating content designed to satisfy YOU… your needs, your desires, to answer your questions… or worse, to tick the right boxes for the committee of executives that will sign off on the web project… you’re in trouble.
Really effective web content has to be tailored from the outset to cater for one group of people, and one group of people only: your site visitors.
Yes, as you come up with ideas for new content, and go about producing great web copy, you have to keep things like search engine optimisation (SEO) and your business goals for the page in mind… but ALWAYS with a view to delivering value for the visitors who land on that page.
Knowing your audience is the key to really effective web content
Before you can optimise your site content for either search engines or conversion you need to really know your target audience. Any piece of marketing collateral… whether it’s a direct sales letter, a printed brochure, a product description or a web page… should always be more about the reader than it is about the writer. What are your readers looking for? What motivates and drives them? How can you best cater to their wants and needs when they land on the page you’re working on?
Before crafting any piece of web content you need to know:
- Who is your primary online audience? Define this in as much detail as you can – try to anticipate what they’re likely to want from the content you’re writing, and how you can best deliver the value they’re looking for.
- How are they likely to arrive at this particular page on your site? Will they find you through organic search listings for particular keyword phrases, referrals from other sites, direct traffic, paid search advertising, other online advertising… how your visitors find you can tell you a lot about how to tailor your content to their needs.
- What do you want from them before they leave? While the content of your page needs to focus on delivering what the reader wants… always remember your primary conversion goal for the page when you’re writing your content. You’re content should deliver what your visitors need to allow them to make a particular decision or take a specific action. Whether that’s to subscribe to your newsletter, leave a comment, prompt a follow-up enquiry about your products or services, a direct online sale, or whatever else you want from the page.
Whatever your goals…, the web content you need to achieve them will always focus on your reader, what they need, and how you and your business can help them.
What’s your top tip for creating really effective web content? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below….