5 Customer Centric Content Tips for Web Design
Effective sales-oriented content can be difficult to create for any marketing initiative, including web design. On one side of the spectrum are those frozen into paralysis staring at a blank page after a number of false starts. On the other side of the spectrum are those who aimlessly populate their pages with as much content as possible, but without including an actionable point. If you or the people working on your content aren’t hitting the mark, here are five tips to get started in the right direction.
- Start with a tangible persona profile. Imagine that the content is being created to speak to a person you know that represents a specific, well defined group of prospective customers. Give him or her a name, address, life and make it real. Then create a “Flat Stanley or Stella” archetype that would accompany you on all content related meetings so the needs of your persona remain front of mind.
- Identify questions your persona profile would ask during his/her decision making process. Weave the answers into the body copy of your website pages. This approach addresses the initial question of “What should our content cover?”
- Keep an ideal set of next steps in mind. The content to each page should be crafted to follow a sequence of questions a potential customer might ask in the “ideal” buying scenario. What aspects of the page would they see? What would they think, and what would they do after they’ve scanned this page? Where do you want them to go next? Have a path in mind and use the site’s content to step them through each milestone in the decision making process. It is recognized that the ideal scenario will not always occur, but when it does, you would have thought through the process so the user experience flows smoothly.
- Draft before getting into details. Complete a high level concept from beginning to end non-stop before reviewing, tweaking or editing it. This approach is helpful for a number of reasons. First, it prevents analysis paralysis whereby progress is stymied by attempting to reach perfection too early. Second, you maintain the creative flow by not judging your work before it’s completed. Lastly, starting over when drafting the first version provides too many opportunities to put the work aside until later. Once you’re in a groove, it often takes great effort to derail positive momentum so keep going, knowing that you will be revisiting your content once completed. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling errors or other such minute details. Focus on making your message clear and crafting a smooth conversion path for your prospective customers to take. That said, as your review, be cognizant of “sticking points” that need extra attention before finalizing. The content in these sticking points can divulge misunderstandings or preconceptions that need to be addressed before the web development is complete.
- Trim and build each page simultaneously. Your website page should have just enough on it to elicit a targeted behavior and nothing more. However, if great content is created during the web design process that could be helpful to potential customers, but would be considered excessive for what you were trying to achieve on the page, save this content as inspiration for a whitepaper. To keep your page(s) clean and uncluttered, put what you trimmed off the web page content during the editing stage back into the mix in the form of a downloadable Call to Action. This way if the customer wants more information, they have the option of responding to the Call to Action.
Content creation, curation and selection are arguably the most difficult aspects of launching a new site. While it does take some time to craft, the end results can be repurposed throughout your online and offline marketing efforts, making this content a valuable conversion tool across all touch points.