Compelling Content

Elizabeth Varley on why knowing your readers' needsis key to good content.

Who's It For?

No matter what your website is for, it will need some writtencontent. The text on your site lets readers know why they shouldbe there; what they can buy, read, do or sign up for. It needsto tell readers what they will gain.

Knowing the current and intended audience is key when writingcontent for your site.

Who are they? Are you writing for current readers whoalready know your company, services and what your site'sabout? Do you need to attract new customers and describe yourproducts?

When putting your content together ask yourself if you'reaiming at businesspeople or the general public. People shoppingfor a new shampoo won't respond to the more formal languageneeded for your company's latest financial report.

What will your readers want to do on your site? If you'reselling something, you need to think about why readers will bebuying your product.

If buying for business, your reader will probably want toknow the facts about your product, and quickly. Or perhapsit's a personal luxury item? Let them know how it will makethem feel or how they will enjoy it.

Obviously, the best way to find out what your readers wantfrom your site is to ask them. Talk to your readers, get theirfeedback via an online form or hold a focus group. Give themwhat they want on your site and they'll keep comingback.


Elizabeth Varley is a consultant content strategist, writerand editor, and the Director of Online Content UK – the networkfor new media editorial professionals. For more information gotto http://www.onlinecontentuk.organd

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