It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Writing for the Web: Selecting Content
Learn how to create content for the Library website.
Website visitors are goal oriented. They visit websites to complete tasks, find information, and ask questions. Follow these steps to identify the essential messages for your webpages:
Identify and research your audience.
Define the purpose of the proposed content. Why does your audience need your content? How will the content help them?
Think of your topic from your user's point of view. Make a list of the questions your site visitors ask about the topic and organize the questions in the order your audience would ask them.
Answer the questions. If you have questions that you don't have answers for, find the right person and get the answer.
Write and organize the content using strategies for effective web writing and organization for your specific audience.
Put away your draft/existing content.
Think of your topic from your user’s point of view. Make a list of the questions your site visitors ask about the topic or revisit previously drafted questions. Organize the questions in the order your audience would ask them.
Use site statistics to see what is used. Consider why content may or may not be used.
Get your draft/existing content back out and use it to answer the questions you identified in step 2 above.
Look over the content that is left after you've answered the questions on your list. If the information isn't critical, ditch it. If it is critical, write a question your visitors might ask and give them the answer.
If you have questions that you don't have answers for, find the right person and get the answer.
Read your new draft. Does it flow logically for your audience?
Discard any content that doesn't answer a question your audience might have. Only give site visitors what they need, rather than what you think they need.
Revise and organize the content using strategies for effective web writing and organization for your specific audience.
Adapted from Letting Go of the Words by Janice Redish
Identifying and investing in understanding and learning about your audience, their needs, behaviors, challenges, and unique characteristics is the first and most important step in selecting, writing, and organizing web content.
Ways to Focus on Your Audience
Personas are "fictional depictions of the audiences you want to serve." (Aaron Schmidt). You can use personas to help focus on the tasks specific users must use your website to complete.