One of the main stumbling blocks when it comes to creating content for your website is knowing exactly who you’re writing for, and using an appropriate tone of voice for that demographic. The easiest way to figure this out is to create a persona – a fictional character who represents your typical website audience – and write the site as if you’re talking directly to that character.
Step 1: Who is your intended audience?
What kind of people are going to be looking for products like yours? Are they old or young? Male or female? Single or married? Do they have children? What do they do for a living? Are they well-off, with a large expendable income, or do they struggle to pay the bills every month? What makes them tick? What makes them laugh?
Step 2: What mood is your audience in?
Why have they come to your site? Are they looking for an immediate solution, or have they got half an hour to browse through every page? If you’re an emergency locksmith, for example, your typical site user is going to be stressed and impatient when looking at your site. They’re locked out of their house or car, and they need to find information and contact details on your site ASAP. If you run a restaurant, on the other hand, your site viewers will probably be calm, relaxed, maybe even a bit excited as they plan a fun evening out and think about what they might eat.
Step 3: Create a persona
This is the part where you actually invent a character – someone who embodies all the traits of your typical site viewer. Give them a name, an age, a family and a history. Give them likes and dislikes. Think about what kind of house they live in and the type of car they drive. Write it all down. Maybe even find a picture online of someone who your character looks like. Really make them come to life.
Step 4: Write for your character
Write your site content as if you’re talking to your new character. By now you should know what makes them tick, so use that knowledge to make the site relevant and appealing to them. If they’re always looking for a bargain, mention your two-for-one deals at the top of the page. If they like luxury – and can afford to pay for it – tell them your products are top of the range and will make them the envy of their neighbours.
And remember – because your persona represents your typical site user, chances are that if your site appeals to your fictional customer, it’ll appeal to your real ones too.