The first thing you should always do before beginning to write your articles is identify your target audience. This goes for writing articles on any website. How can you write effective articles if you don't know whom you want to view your website? So what type of person should your website target? Actually, the challenge of writing great content for your website is that you need to identify two target audiences - one primary and one secondary.
Your primary (and most important) audience should be people who do not know of your business. You should view your business website as a modern marketing tool. A website offers a comfortable, convenient way for potential visitors to find out about your business. They will most likely make a decision about whether or not to visit based on what they see on your website. Therefore, your articles need to be written with that person in mind so they can get a clear understanding of what your business does, and what you can do for them. You want them to be attracted to the idea of patronizing your business.
Your secondary audience should be people who already have experienced shopping in your business. This group is less important than the first (in the context of article content), simply because their visit is driven to follow-up on information that they already know about. Definitely use your articles to promote series, events, programs, meetings, etc. But not at the expense of losing your primary target audience. Don't make the mistake of focusing on existing clients and sending the message that your business is an exclusive club.
Once you've identified your target audience, you then need to understand what that audience wants to see. This should determine your site's content. Keeping in mind that a great business website serves two audiences, you will need to make some decisions based on the primary audience over the secondary. I would recommend beginning with some basic questions about your primary audience and let those answers drive your initial content.
Simply by identifying potential clients as your primary audience, you've already determined a prominent part of your content, the "Become a Client" section. Make your article stand out so that your guest will immediately notice it and be attracted to click on it. You've only got a few seconds to grab the attention of a web surfer...make it count.
So what do guests want to know about your business? Here are some basic questions that should be answered for a potential new client:
- Where is your business located and how do I get there?
- What are your business hours?
- What types of products and services are available?
- Do you offer guarantees?
- Do you offer advice about your products and/or services such as installation hints or the best way a product can be used?
- Are you active in your community? and if so, how?
- What is your business vision and mission?
- Who is the owner and/or manager of your business?
- How can I contact you?
Article submission is then a breeze. Simply type your articles using any Rich-Text Editor (Word, Works, Notepad, Wordpad, etc.) and submit them to me as an attachment via email. You should also email me any photos that you would like to be included on the website.
As always, should you have any questions do not hesitate to call me for further information or clarification.