written by
Zach Aufort

Know Thy Audience — Creating Web Content That's Compelling and Effective

Content Creation 4 min read
Photographer: Suzy Hazelwood | Source: Pexels

Welcome to the third article in our series dedicated to the basics of creating web content. In the last post, we talked about how to organically build a collection of authentic imagery for your website. We started the series with a discussion about self-exploration as the first step to effective web narratives. This article will expand on the first, offering tips and tricks for taking your base material and weaving it into compelling web content.

Creating Web Content By Writing to Your Audience

The flip side to "know thyself" from the first article is, "know thy audience". With a web page, you only have a few moments to capture your readers' attention. It's important to know who they are and what's most important to them. Your content should be sculpted to answer their most pressing questions.

It can be helpful to create a buyer persona. This is a fictitious person with traits that match your target market. Creating a persona gives you someone to write to. When creating web content, consider what your buyer persona would want to know and then write with them in mind.

But remember that each of your visitors is a person, not the representative of some particular demographic. As important as it is to write to your audience, don't lose sight of the individual. Write as if you're speaking to your most important customer, and ground your message in the content most important to them.

People Don't Read Web Pages. They Scan Them.

This is an important distinction. Websites aren't novels and people don't read them that way. They quickly scan the text, looking for elements that are important to them. Because of this, your writing should be short, direct, and easily digestible.

You should include headings and subheadings so that a quick glance is all that's required for readers to know what each section of your website is talking about. When you make it easy for prospects to find what they're looking for they're more likely to read through the rest of your content as well.

Put Your Most Relevant Content at the Top

Narrative writing benefits from a dramatic build, but remember that websites aren't standard narratives. Don't make your readers wait to learn what they came for. Place the most important information at the top of your page.

You have very little time to convince a visitor to stay on your site. They know you're just one site among many. If they don't find what they're looking for immediately, they'll likely go back to their Google search and pick the next listing. Don't let that happen.

Focus on Benefits Instead of Features

Features are factual statements about a company, product, or service. The features of a toaster might be:

  • Handles four pieces of bread simultaneously
  • Offers user select-able toast levels
  • Has slots wide enough to accommodate bagels

Features are often what web writers focus on, but features don't move people into action. Creating web content that's persuasive involves discussing benefits instead. Toaster benefits might be:

  • Save time by toasting more bread at once
  • Enjoy the perfect slice of toast, every time
  • Save money with one unit that toasts everything!

When you write about benefits you're telling people what a product's or service's features will do for them. This contextualizes the features and makes them meaningful. It lets people know how the product will improve their lives. People do look at features, but what they really care about is how those features will benefit them.

Include Meaningful Keywords Throughout Your Text

Keywords are words or short phrases that people are likely to search for on Google and other search engines when trying to find your product or service. If someone is looking to buy a toaster they might search for:

  • toaster sales
  • buy a toaster
  • wide slotted toaster
  • stainless steel toasters

When writing the text for your website, you want to try and include some of the phrases that best describe your offerings. This helps search engines identify your website as a good source for information on those search terms, increasing your chances of showing up near the top of search results. Choosing keywords is a small part of a much larger process called SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO is a topic that can fill multiple articles on its own so we won't develop the concept any further here. Look for future posts on the subject.

Creating Web Content That Converts Takes Practice and Time

Don't be discouraged if your initial attempts at web content don't perform as well as you'd like. There are professionals that devote their careers to writing compelling websites. You can't expect to master the process on your first, second, or even third attempt. But with time your writing will improve.

Or you can enlist help. If you're looking for a website that pulls in prospects and converts them to customers, let the designers and copywriters at Puget Tech create a killer website for you. You COULD do it yourself, but it's often far better to invest in a professional site.

Let us show you how the ROI on a professionally-designed website makes trying to do it yourself a losing proposition. When we design your site, it starts working for you immediately, with no learning curve required. You'll save time and start building your business instantly. If you'd like more information, please drop us a line or give us a call.

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