By Jay Conrad Levinson
Author, "Guerrilla Marketing" series of books
Over 14 million sold; now in 41 languages
The best-selling marketing series in history
The insight about content for a website is it should be the information your prospects and customers want to know the most. It's not necessarily the content you want to put forth and boast about. Instead, it's data about how your company can have a positive impact on visitors to your site.
To create the best content, work backwards -- beginning with the goals you wish to achieve with your site. Put into writing the specific goals you wish your website to obtain for you. The more specific you are, the more like you are to hit those goals.
Next, put into writing the obstacles that may stand in the way of your company attaining its goals. Usually, these obstacles center around a lack of information by your target audience. When you're clear on that information, become a bridge-builder. Build a bridge between your goals and your target audience. Construct it of valuable information.
Guerrillas know well that their sites will succeed or fail based on how much overlap there is between their content and the needs of their target audiences. They realize that exquisite design and spectacular promotion are meaningless if their content doesn't fill the needs of their market.
To develop that kind of content, answer these questions, for your specific answers will provide your content:
- What is the immediate, short-term goal of your website?
- What specific action do you want visitors to take?
- What are your specific objectives for the long term?
- Who do you want to visit your site?
- What solutions or benefits can you offer to these visitors?
- What data should your site provide to achieve your primary goal?
What information can you provide to encourage them to act right now?
- What questions do you get asked the most on the telephone?
- What questions and comments do you hear most at trade shows?
- What data should your site provide to achieve your secondary goal?
- Where does your target audience look for information?
- How often do you want visitors to return to your website?
- What may be the reasons you don't sell as much as you'd like to?
- Who is your most astute competition?
- Does your competition have a website?
- What are ways you can distinguish yourself from your competitors?
- How important is price to your target audience?
Your answers point the way to what competitive advantages to stress, what to show, what to say, what to feature. Serve up your content in bite-sized pieces, all valuable -- for it's clear current content that leads to success on the web. If it's a winner for your guests, it will be a winner for you.