So you’re ready to create or redo your website. It’s easy enough to write up some content and slap it on the pages. But are you writing the right info? Are you speaking to your audience? Are you addressing your value proposition? (Huh?) OK. More on that in a minute.
When you set out to draft content for a website, it’s more than slathering a few words on a page that links to your business or products page. You need each word to count. You need to write with meaning. And with persuasion. It’s up to you to tell your site users what to do once they get there. Are you doing all that? And are you answering our 14 super-fabulous, cover-everything questions as you write? Let’s check.
The 14 Key Questions
Answering these questions as you write leads to a well-thought out, organized and informative website.
- What are your goals? Before you start creating a website, you need to know what you want to achieve. This could be making sales, blogging, setting yourself up as a subject matter expert in your field, all of the above — whatever you want. But you need to know your website’s purpose.
- What is your mission? You should have a clear mission statement for your business, and it should be apparent to all who visit your site. You want them to know who you are and what you do right away, so don’t bury this information deep in the interwebs. Make it front-and-center and clear.
- What is your value proposition? And there it is again: that big mysterious phrase. Just what is value proposition? Basically, this is the value you promise to deliver and the reason your visitors should buy specifically from YOU. You need a clear statement that encompasses how your product solves or improves your customer’s’ problem, the specific benefits your product offers and the reason why you are the bees knees, the number one resource, the king of kings of this product. Simple enough?
- What really sets your business apart? Are your employees the most dedicated? Do you have a special manufacturing process you should showcase? Do your proceeds go to a fund near and dear to everyone’s heart? Tell your readers!
- What is your personal brand? This is unique to you and something worth spending some time on, if you haven’t already. Your branding on your website should be consistent with everything else your company distributes.
- Who is your audience? You need to know who you are writing to. This will help you determine the tone and work choice. Who is your target market?
- What kind of voice do you want to project? Will you be serious and definitive or chatty with a side of snark? Consider your product, brand and vision. How would you present the information if you were talking to someone in person? This is often a great way to write, too.
- How long is your audience’s attention span? Consider how long visitors will stay on your site. If they are coming to read extensive research, they likely stay longer. If your market tends to visit sites from their phones, you’ll need to write concise, scannable content, you know, for folks with the attention span of a gnat.
- What do people really want to know about you personally? They probably don’t care that you prefer to eat with chopsticks and that your favorite color is fuchsia, especially if you’re in the IT industry. However, if you are passionate about animal welfare and your product relates to animals or benefits animal charities, share away. (You can also read more on how personal is too personal in our blog on this topic.)
- Who is your competition? Consider your competitors. Visit their websites. What are they doing that you can do better? Check out their prices, promotions and catch phrases. Be creative and draw your audience in.
- What are your highest revenue products or services? You’ll definitely want to showcase these. Tout their benefits, have plenty of images and show your customers why these products are unbeatable.
- What is your call to action? This is a fancy content phrase for “What do you want them to do?” Do you want them to download your free e-book? Purchase your products? Sign up for classes? Be clear and make it exciting for them to take the action!
- How do you prefer to be contacted? If you don’t check your email but once a week, you probably don’t want to encourage people to email with questions. Whichever methods of contact you will be most responsive to is what you should list.
- What happens once a client contacts you? Have a plan for once you receive a contact, and tell your customers what to expect. “You’ll receive a response in 24 hours.” Something like this is appropriate. Don’t leave ‘em hanging.
And there you have it, folks! The best fourteen questions to ask yourself in order to build a stellar site. But if these questions are a tad overwhelming, you can always contact the professionals at All Things Writing, LLC. This is what we do…maybe even what we live for.
All Things Writing is a full-service content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. Our clients are from the private, government and nonprofit sectors.