When it comes to the Internet, there's a saying that rings true, "content is king." However, what exactly does that mean and how can you make it work for you? Before we jump into this, let's consider a few issues: 1) Content provides information for the search engines (i.e. Google) to review and stash in their "memory banks." 2) When writing effective website content, it's important to understand the goal for the site (i.e. informative, educational, persuasive, etc.) 3) Content still needs to be written in a way that attracts the viewers' attention. 4) Most people forget point #3.
So let's focus briefly on content creation.
In business, the acronym WIIFM (pronounced wiff-em), stands for What's In It For Me. It's a key question that I try to answer any time I'm adding content to a website, writing a blog post, or creating a presentation. Ultimately, to keep the reader engaged, you've got to remember that to some extent, we're all selfish. In most cases, people are willing to give you precious time if you can provide something useful or valuable.
When you're structuring your page, pick out a few key themes, but instead of simply dumping a bunch of facts and figures, consider how and/or why this information is important to the reader. Then, write from that perspective. Let's look at some examples:
Example #1: Our business uses complex accounting software and has invested in hundreds of hours in developing ways to sell our services to more and more clients.
Consider the WIIFM: Our firm can help you to work through complicated accounting issues by utilizing the latest accounting systems and our first hand experience.
Example #2: I have established a suburban office so I can get home quicker.
Consider the WIIFM: Our convenient suburban location means that you don't have to fight downtown traffic just to meet with us.
To be clear, I'm not saying you should manipulate the reader. What remains constant is you're asking the reader/prospective client to spend a few minutes of their time considering information you have. If they see value in what you're providing, you're much more likely to have peak their interest and possibly convince them to either read further, or to engage with you.
The next time you're about to upload a bunch of content, remember to ask yourself, "If I'm the reader, WIIFM?"