Good Content is About Your Customers

August 5, 2009

Writing content requires more than just good writing skills. The right questions need to be asked. Among those questions should be “Why is this important?”, “Who are we writing to?”, and most importantly “What would make it more meaningful?”

Content is not about what your reader wants, nor is it about your company. It’s about your customer. It must be relevant to your potential customers and delivered to them in a compelling way. The voice should be based on a strong understanding of your target market so they feel you relate to them. You can assist this process with an editorial style guide that provides guidelines and examples to help anyone craft content and messages in a similar style.

There are several criteria that you want your content to meet in order to ensure the highest of quality. This is beyond the typical marketing or sales writing. Not every page on your site is about selling to someone. Sometimes it is about providing information to educate that person on how your product or service is the best solution for their need. A balance of sales copy writing and education is needed.

The content should be more useful to search engines, so you want to not only utilize keywords and phrases appropriately, but also create relationships through cross-linking.

Content should be comprehensive and cover the requirements for the web site, as well as any third-party applications that are needed. Part of this process is a gap analysis between what exists and what needs to be written. Placing all pages in the site map and outlining their overall function within the site helps ensure that all topics are covered, as well as any new topics that should be considered for the future.

At the end of it all, though, it is important to remember what your customer wants from you. Then write it down in a way that they truly understand how you deliver on that desire. Your content is better and your customers are happier.

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