Friday 15 May 2009

How to....Write Website Content (Part 3)

What to Write About

Now you know why you need to write content and how to make it good for the web. But what exactly do people want to know? What should you talk about? Here is an idea of the kind of content to include – some of it may seem obvious but is often left out.

What do visitors want?

This is the million dollar question! Sometimes it’s obvious – people visiting a hotel website want to know if rooms are available, what facilities there are and how much the room will cost. Sometimes it’s more difficult. Should you mention the history of the company? Do visitors want to know what computer software you use? And this varies so much depending on your target audience and their aims.

Who are your visitors?

This has been looked at briefly in the other parts, but lets have a look at different types of visitors and what they want.

Prospective Clients

These are the people you most want to come to the website and the ones you most want to impress. They need to know straight away that:

  • You can help them – you provide the service or product they are looking for
  • You are professional
  • They want to buy or deal with you

They will need to be able to get to a contact firm or contact details easily and that all product and service information is quick to find and easy to understand.

Yet even in this group you will have a number of different audiences to please. Including the person who will have to pay (will want to see prices), the technical person (will like to see lots of detail – how, why and what), and others.

Existing Customers

They know you and have already decided to deal with you, so the chances are they are coming to repeat a purchase, or are looking for a phone number or address. You need to keep current customers in mind as they are likely to refer you to their friends, colleagues, family etc. This is also an ideal opportunity to let them know about other services and products you provide, to let them know how well you are doing and confirm that they have made the right choice dealing with you.


Everyone checks out the competition every now and then, so don’t let them have the satisfaction of thinking their site is better than yours! Make sure your content is up to date, publicise your achievements when you get them – but don’t lie. You will always get caught out in the end.

Other Visitors

Other examples of people visiting your website may be:

  • Job hunters
  • Members of the press
  • Casual browsers
  • Stakeholders
  • Your staff
  • An enthusiast

Each one will have a different reason for visiting, you need to determine which audiences are most important for you and target the content to suit.

A Guide for Standard Pages

What to Write on Your Home Page

Every website needs a home page. It should give each visitor an overview of who you are and what you do, allowing them to decide if your site is of interest to them. The ultimate job of the home page is to draw people into the site by providing points of entry that will appeal to each target audience.

Contact Us

This page should be easily accessible from every other page on your website. It should provide all of your contact details, including address, phone number, and email address. Yu could also include a contact form to make sure you get specific details from a customer enquiry.

A map and directions should also be available if you expect visitors to visit you. The map could either be an image accompanied by text-based directions, or a link provided by Google Maps or Multimap.

About Us

This could either be a page or group of pages depending on how much information you want to provide. This shoudl establish your business credibility by giving customers reasons why they should deal with you It may include:

  • Company History
  • Information about your Team or Staff
  • Customer Testimonials
  • Where you work
  • Your Values
  • How you Work
  • Company Accreditations or Associations

Basically anything that you feel would be of interest to the customer. If you can break this up into a number of smaller, manageable paragraphs visitors will be able to skim the content and pick up on the bits that interest them the most.

What We Do - Your Products & Services

This could also be a group of pages with one dedicated to each product or service, and will vary greatly depending on your company. If you're selling online maybe you'll want to write about specific brands, new products or best sellers. If you are providing services explain how they work and what the customer gets.

You should try and incldue the following if you can:

  • Product/Service Description
  • Features
  • Specifications
  • Images
  • Case Studies
  • Downloadable brochures or leaflets

Latest or Company News

A news section on a website gives visitors a reason to return to your site. It can include whatever you want, from welcoming new members of the team to general industry news.

Other Pages

You can add as many or as few pages to your website as you like - the possibilities are endless. Other examples of what you could include on your website are:

  • Blog - similar to news, but tends to be less formal and can comment on anything you like.
  • Resources - links to related articles or partners, downloads and more.
  • Gallery - photographs of your products, your hotel, golf course, restaurant or whatever else you are advertising.
  • Frequently Asked Questions - answers to questions visitors may have.
  • Guides and 'How To' - give visitors information on how to use your product.


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