By: Jacqueline Towers @Jackie_Twrs
I get paid to look at the worst websites ever.
I’m an account manager at Monster.ca, and a large part of my day is spent researching the recruiting and social media tactics of potential customers, and deciding if there’s an opening for a sales pitch.
From broken social media links to “page not found” errors under the About Us tab, I feel like I really have seen it all. My favorite is when the business owners have written up an extensive blurb on how “We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the highest quality of service” while forgetting to mention what the business does, what products or services they sell, and why anyone should care at all.
The well-written websites that actually have a reason to exist might actually make my job easier, but I won’t lie, the poorly written ones break up the monotony of my day with an audible laugh, and also make my coworkers think I’m insane.
Why Should I Care?
The first question a website or any writing on a digital platform needs to answer is why. Why does our business exist? Why do we need a website? Why do people come to our website? Why am I writing this article and what problem am I solving by writing it? And most importantly, why should anyone care?
Check out This Website (this is a real website):
Even throwing in a Spartan gives me no idea why this website exists. What systems, and why would they be in trouble? What advantage could boots with spikes give in battle? Why should anyone care about the boots or the spikes? Asking this question helps us to put overly complex corporate jargon, or long winded explanations, into concise sentences that are easier to understand.
Who Else Should Care?
So let’s say you’ve finished writing up a clear, concise blog post. A couple of days later you check back, and one person has read it.
But who would? The internet is a vast series of tubes filled with cats, and even the best content can go unnoticed if it’s not placed in front of the right audience. Who is the right audience? Who do you want to see your writing? Asking these questions leads to asking others, like what age is your target audience? Where do they spend time online? How can I get my content in places where my target audience spends time online? What kind of budget do we need to get the content in those places? Asking these questions is a huge help in strategizing for future content.
Yeah, but How Do I Know People Will Check out My Website?
Can your coworkers condense the point of your article or blog down to one sentence? Are your peers on the same page about who you want your content to reach? Unless you’re writing in a personal diary, peer review is the best way to make sure your content is worth the time you spent writing it.
*picture from http://www.arvanitakis.com