Writing for Web: Bumps on the Road

In my previous post I presented my findings about how one should write content for web, including simple writing optimized for scanning, using the inverted pyramid technique, and more.

Updating the content on my current project’s site, I found the problem pulpitating through the text.  Trying to formulate it, I came up with the following questions:

What content would satisfy customers’ demand?

What content would ensure that our business needs are met?

Facing  those questions, I found out that the content should be determined by two factors:

  • Our business goals are what the business wants to achieve. It may be generating revenue, engaging customers, providing a service, and many others. Basically what each product owner wants is a return on investment. Keep that in mind.
  • Customer needs are the things that people go to the site looking for and/or tasks they need to do. And if they don’t find them quickly, they just leave. This is why one should always write “with the customer in mind”.

Sounds simple, right?

Business goals direct your project/content, user/customer needs fill it, and you shape the two based on relevant requirements.

But here’s my issue: how do I balance them?

download

As was mentioned, I am to update the content on my current project’s site. In this post I want to share my experience in an attempt to solve the “business vs. user” issue. As an example, I take a general introduction to the product, the first thing a reader sees.

The business goal behind my project is simple: to attract potential customers and gently persuade them to buy our product and/or services. But the existing content fails to do that as both the business and customer needs are unattended.

Example from the site:

example_from_site

The issues detected:

  • Huge number of tech words –readers are overwhelmed with technical details from the start.
  • Too many facts about program functionality – the focus is only at what the program does, and not a word how customers can benefit from it.
  • Absence of structured and relevant information – everything is about software application, but we are dealing with a product and should try to answer questions potential customers might have.

We need to satisfy the main customer need, which for this type of content (and we are talking about introduction) is to be informed. This means providing them with short relevant – and desirably engaging – information that would help them make a quick decision – read more or leave the page.

So, I came up with a strategy to achieve that. The introduction should answer the following questions:

  • what the product is – DAKAR is the solution designed to analyze full range of power system stability.
  • whom it will be useful for – We are used by power stations, design and research organizations, power engineers (young and experienced), directors of departments, and students.
  • what exactly the product solves – Our product allows you to calculate and analyze different conditions of power networks operation such as stability, power flows, non-symmetry, equipment and automation adjustment, and more.
  • how our customers benefit – We apply modern calculation approaches and mathematical models to deliver quick and correct results for tasks you perform.
  • what to do next (call for action) – Read more to learn how our product will benefit your work or request demo to have a go.

Proposed piece:

proposed_content

I also decided to make it more personal, meaning to imply that there are people behind the product who want to help their customers (be a part of their journey) not just some company that sales an application to get money.

The variant proposed is neither perfect nor final. Still I believe it is more user-friendly and informative and has the right to live.

I would truly appreciate you sharing your bumps and possible solutions.

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