When you sit down to write web site content there should be one thought going through your mind…”What does my reader want to hear?” And all web site writing must flow from that one focused thought.
In thinking about this blog entry, the Disney song “Be Our Guest” inexplicably keeps going through my mind. Maybe it is due to the 1,000 or so times I watched “Beauty And The Beast” with my daughter many years ago. Or, perhaps it is the similarity in determination that the web site writer needs in terms of pleasing his or her ”guest”… the site visitor.
Most people come to the web looking for specific information. And if they don’t find what they need, it’s a fast click and they’re gone. So when you write for a site you need to think, “What does my reader want to know?” “What does my reader need to know?” And then write it in a way that they can find their information fast!
Know that you are writing your site for your reader, not for you! They don’t particularly care about what you want them to learn. They only want to know information as it pertains to themselves. And they have control of the mouse. Need I say more?
So, here are some key tips to help you keep focused on your true audience:
- Write directly to your reader. You are on the right track if you are using the words “you” and “your” and not the words “we” and “our.”
- Tell the reader what he wants to hear. Not what you want to tell him. For example, he will want to know that your teapot won the award for “Best of 2010″ in a recent consumer survey of Best Teapots. This can help him be confident in his decision to purchase your teapot. But he will not want to know that your company won the “Best of 2010″ award because your company is so innovative. He does not care about how great your company is. He cares about the teapot..which shortly may be his.
- Tell your reader about your return policy. Are you easy to deal with when it comes to returns? Will he get his money back quickly if there is a problem? Do you return calls in a timely fashion? Are you easy to contact?
- Provide a page where he can learn more about you. Your “About Us” page is the place for this. He looks at your “About Us” page because he wants to have a reason to trust you. This will help him trust what you are saying to him about that teapot.
- Speak to your reader in a clear, concise manner. He wants to get the information fast. However, you may want to provide links where he can find more detailed information, if he desires.
- Provide a way for your reader to scan the page so he can quickly find the information he needs. Two ways this can be done are through the use of lists or color.
- Don’t leave him wondering what to do. At the end of your page, or at other places including the end, provide a “call to action.” Perhaps he will want to “Buy the teapot now” or sign up for your product newsletter. Help him decide. Have the option(s) right there. Don’t make him search for it. Odds are, he won’t. Click. (oops!!!)
I hope these few tips prove useful to you. And I hope you have enjoyed being my guest at my blog!