Giving Your Content Wings - Part II

July 5, 2011
Is my content accessible?

In part one of Giving Your Content Wings we asked the question, “Is my content findable?” In today’s installment we’ll be discussing accessibility — a broad category that covers everything from your site’s design to your contents’ reading level.

Is my content accessible?

Your prospects need to be able to both view and understand your content after the click — meaning that once they land on your website, your content needs to be accessible to them.

Design

There are many reasons why people leave a website; if your site is unreadable, unnavigable, or annoying, visitors will hit the “Back” button faster than you can blink.

Keep your website’s design clean and professional, and make it simple for visitors to move around and view all your content. When in design doubt, use black text on a white background.

Mobile

According to a Google study conducted in early 2011, 81% of people browse the Internet on their phone. We use smartphones to search for businesses and products, check our email, read blogs, and chat with friends.

Optimizing a website for mobile devices takes time and planning, but it’s a step that can’t be skipped. To ensure that your content is accessible to as many prospects as possible, take the time to make sure that your website is readable and navigable on mobile devices.

Free or register?

Should content be free or require registration? In other words, should advanced content (whitepapers, webinars, ebooks, etc.) be free to download, or should a company require a name and email address in exchange for that content? This question has been debated since what feels like the dawn of time, with no one being able to agree on a “right answer.”

Putting content behind a form means that you’ll scare away prospects who don’t want to give their information; making content free means that anyone can download it, and you have no way to put them on a lead nurturing campaign or establish a relationship with them. This choice is entirely yours, but each option must be carefully considered.

No matter your decision, take care to let visitors know how to access your content. If you do collect their information, tell them you won’t share or sell it (and don’t).

Speak human

Once prospects have their hands on your content, make sure they can understand it. Keep your target customer in mind:

  • What is their typical education level?
  • Do they understand the technical aspects of your company or product, or will you need to explain those things?
  • Are they serious readers, or can you have a more informal or humorous “voice” in your writing?

In other words, tailor your content to your readers. Write to them and for them, and they’ll thank you for it.

Stay tuned...

Stay tuned for next week’s final installment of “Giving Your Content Wings,” when I’ll share with you the secret to make your content irresistible.

[Image: matthew_hull]