In today’s world, every successful company should have a website. In order to be effective, each website must be coherent, engaging and user-friendly. But when technical consultants offer advice about designing a website, they often discuss ‘design’ or ‘technical’ issues, such as what theme to use, ensuring link functionality, logo, photo and video placement etc. While these issues are important, it is critical to understand the value of content in a successful web marketing strategy.
Simply, content will make or break your website. Let me be clear. Content is not filler. Quality content must be readable and engaging. Website content must contain specific characteristics to make your website usable and effective. Following are three primary considerations when creating content for your website:
a) Know who your target audience is. Write content as if speaking directly to that audience.
If you know your products and you know your clients, you already have a grasp of who your audience is and what they like. Is your audience young, middle aged, or older? Is your audience mostly male or female? Are they located in a specific geographical area? Do you aim for local or international customers? Each audience requires a different tone and style. Your website content needs to speak to their values, desires, concerns and basic needs. For example, in some cases, the content for your audience should be available in more than one language.
b) Create content that helps customers in different stages of the purchasing process.
There are several stages in the purchasing process and any given visitor typically falls into one of them. At one extreme, you have the customer that has already made up his or her mind, probably because he or she really needs the product or service or has purchased it in the past. All this customer wants is to find the shortest way to order and pay.
At the other extreme, you have the visitor that has just heard about your product or has just found your service in a search response and wants to know what it is about or how can it solve his or her problem. In between, you have visitors who want to compare prices, obtain more information, find answers to questions etc.
Successful content addresses the needs of every visitor according to the stage they’re in and provides the information they need in terms they will understand. For example, a first time visitor may need some definitions or general context information that the others might find annoying because it is so basic. Finding balance in website content is critical.
c) Offer quality content. Go beyond what’s expected.
By quality content, we are referring to content that leaves your visitors in a better position, better informed and more inspired than when they arrived. Your content should be educational, informative, interesting, entertaining and valuable. Your website should offer content that makes a visitor feel that they learned something that makes their purchasing decision easier and that also makes their life better by recognizing and addressing specific needs they have. Your content should focus on your audience and their needs rather than simply focusing on and promoting your products or services.
Everyone has problems and needs. Success comes to those that solve people’s problems and fulfill people’s needs. Provide content that solves problems and addresses needs. It’s really that simple.