Writing Your Web Site’s Content for Results – From the Bottom Up

A web site is like a virtual sales force.  It can deliver a message, sell a product, or encourage an action through interactivity and targeted messaging.  Ultimately the purpose of a web site is to encourage the visitor to do something – this is known as conversion.

Using our “Bottom Up” method, starting with the more detailed information and working towards the homepage message, will allow you to pinpoint exactly how you want your visitor to interact with your site.  This process is as follows…

Identify What You Want Your Web Site to Do

First, you will want to identify the specific action(s) you want the visitor to take.  It may be more than one thing.  If so, prioritize that list relative to the site’s success.  For example, do you want the visitor to call you, visit another web page, or fill out a contact form?  Or some other action?

Then make a second list of possible ways in which your visitors will be enticed to take action.  Search feature?  Articles?  Direct encouragement?  Write down everything you can think of and prioritize these in terms of what is most feasible or realistic.

Gather Up the Detailed Content for Your Web Site

Now that you have identified your desired response, you can organize the core of your site, its “guts” so to speak.  A web site can have primary pages (like a home or landing page), secondary pages which are quick overviews that extend from your home page and then 3rd and 4th tier pages that elaborate on that message.

What you are trying to do here is establish a base theme for your site with your 3rd and 4th tier pages from which the targeted message will come.  And this message is what drives the desired action.

The “bottom up” method means you start with those 3rd and 4th tier pages.  These can be white papers, articles, product specifications, etc.  These are going to be the areas of your site that support your targeted messaging, your last defense.  As you organize this content, look for common themes that relate to your desired actions you have already identified.

Connect Your Actions with Your Content

Now, pull out the themes and ideas that are more targeted to your audience and desired response – these are your 2nd tier pages.  And from those you will want to narrow the message even further: This is your home page.

By the time you get to the home page you should have a laser sharp message.  Use very direct language that calls for the action you want the visitor to take.  Make your message obvious.  Who are you?  What do you offer?  Why should the visitor care and take action?

Messaging is simpler if you know what you want in response.   Your web site organization should always have something to do with this desired response. That’s why this “bottom up” method can be so effective when working on your web messaging and site organization.

Jon-Mikel Bailey - Before co-founding Wood Street in 2002, Jon worked in sales, marketing and business development for technology and marketing firms. A popular speaker, he gives seminars on marketing, internet marketing, branding and web design to chambers of commerce, trade associations and colleges. He has a BFA in Photography from Frostburg State University and still shoots photos for Wood Street clients.