In the past several weeks, we have covered the content requirements in order to develop your website as an authority in your field. While this makes sense, sometimes it is difficult to get a handle on how to approach this task of creating perfect content that is appealing to your viewers and at the same time, attractive to the search engines. As a suggestion for organizing your thoughts about content, think of the 5 W's: Who, What, When, Where, Why. When you can answer the 5 W questions, you have covered your content needs. Let's look at the 5 W's individually.
- Who: Who is your target audience? Do you know who they are and how they think? If you don't know your customer, how can you possibly address their needs? Remember, we are offering solutions and benefits, not just listing the features of the products and services your business offers. You have to be able to know what problems your customers face and offer them a solution to the pain they feel.
- What motivates them to buy? Is it avoidance of pain or is it seeking pleasure? This largely depends on your product or service, but you need to know their motivation. What: We talked about the Call to Action in a previous SEO SOS lesson. What are you trying to accomplish with this website? Are you trying to sell a product immediately, schedule a service or collect their contact information? Are you trying to get them to call you or subscribe to your newsletter? Be very clear in your mind what your goals are for your website. Know now how your web presence fits into your overall marketing plan and determine what you expect to accomplish and the steps you need to take to succeed.
- When: When do certain aspects of your marketing campaign engage? We will talk about autoresponders in an upcoming SEO SOS lesson, but for now, an autoresponder is a means of scheduling automatic and ongoing contact with your potential clients and current customers. Knowing when to release what information is all part of good planning. Make sure that you don't release your website with an "under construction" page still on the site. This is just not acceptable except in very rare cases. It is important to set deadlines for launching your website, but it is better to miss your target date by a few days if it means you have the time to go over it one more time to correct typos, errors and broken links.
- Where: Where are you going to set up your Internet support points? Directory submissions, reciprocal linking programs, blogs, forums, related or associated partnerships, affiliate relationships, pay-per-click ads and joint venture relationships will probably be part of the traffic generation efforts you will make to become better known on the Internet. But they can't all happen at once. These efforts will help send people to your website, but you want to choose wisely where to focus your efforts so you get the highest degree of efficiency for your time. You will want your initial support presence where it will do the most good with the quickest response.
- Why: This is one of the first questions I have my clients ask themselves - Why me? Why would someone buy from you rather than from your competitors? What is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? If you cannot come up with your USP, you will not be able to easily convince your potential customer to purchase from you. Maybe it's because you have been in business longer than your competition; perhaps you have more stringent hiring practices than most so your employees are better at what they do; is it because you have a stronger customer support approach? You really do know your USP. Just make sure that you can and do convey it clearly on your website. If you take the time to write out your web content utilizing an awareness of the 5 W's, you'll have strong, complete content that markets you and your business effectively.
Your homework this week: Layout or review your existing web pages to make sure that somewhere you are answering the 5 W's for your client or prospect. If any of the W's is missing, then determine where that information is best presented and contact your webmaster to ask them to revise your web pages accordingly.
Copyright 2012 (c) The Computer Goddess
Reprinted with permission.