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WIIFM – Let Your Readers Know What's In it for Them When Reading Your Web Pages

By Lesley Peters

How do you zero in on asking yourself . . . “What will my customer think is in it for themselves, when they read my website?” Or, how do you write content that answers your customer’s question . . . . “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM?)

Understanding your audience is a first step to keeping in mind what they need to see on your website. Understanding your audience also gives you insight for their questions, their worries, and their needs. Listening to your customers will let you know how you can help them satisfy their prospects’ goals, by writing web content that speaks to their readers. You can help them by writing directly to them. Using “you” and “your” instead of “we” and “our” resonates with your readers.

Some people call “you” and “your” customer focused content. Think about your website visitor coming with questions, and wanting to grab information as quickly as he or she can. Think about using words they understand to help them get to meaningful content with a glance or two.

To leave “we” web content behind and move toward “you” content, you can change the mindset of your website with a few easy tweaks:

• Make your tone inviting to your audience. Change your words to support your reader. You can be professional, but still convey a message that you are there for them. For example, create a home page using your audience’s language, by writing short descriptions to invite them to explore your site to learn more.

• Alter the order of your pages to match your clients’ needs. List your products, services, news, faq’s first, while placing your “About Us” page near the end of your list. Keep your home page link and important pages immediately visible because many people come to website by landing on inner pages.

Think of using words like: How Things Work, My Account, My Products. A perfect example of writing for the reader is Go Daddy (www.godaddy.com). Go Daddy’s site demonstrates WIIFM by stating “The Web is Your Domain” as their tag line.

• Write labels for your links that focus on having a dialogue with your audience to send them quickly to where their questions are answered. Use consistent names for your link labels.

The Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov), for example, uses label links like: Your Social Security Earnings Statement, Estimate Your Retirement Benefits, and Already Receiving Benefits?

• Build a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, providing your audience general facts, concepts, and sufficient information about your products and services. Think of phrases that connect with your readers: How do I? Where can I? What do I need to do for . . .?

If you have a FAQ page with many questions and answers, consider grouping them by categories to help your audience find what they need quickly. The Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov), has a FAQ page that mixes and matches questions using “I”, as well as “What is”, “How Long Is,” “What is A . . .?”

Once you've completed your web content, ask some colleagues if they will read the content from your prospects’ point of view. You want to know if your content answers the question “What’s In It For Me?”




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