Choose Web Site Content from Three Main Categories
BY Russell Shaw
Keeping in mind who your audience is and what you want your site to do, consider developing content from these three basic categories: company information, product information, and special features (such as case studies, white papers, news articles, and customer testimonials).
Create Company Information Pages Company information pages let your site visitors know something about your company, and at the same time create a sense of credibility. People want to know whom they're doing business with.
Share the company history. Putting your company's history on your site not only establishes credibility but gives prospective customers more of an idea of what you do and how you got to this point. Leave out the trivial -- the fact that you opened a branch office in April 1996 may or may not be important. Include how your company got started, who started it and why, key acquisitions you may have made along the way, how your company's size and sales have grown, and a bit about the scope of your current operations. How many customers do you have? How many employees? How many offices?
Profile company staff. Your executives and staff members are working for your company because they have areas of expertise crucial to your business. Communicating this expertise to your customers can be an important sales tool. Maybe your vice president of marketing came to your company from a large corporation, where he or she tallied some prestigious accomplishments. Your chief technical officer may have written a book or perhaps teaches an evening class at your local college. Perhaps your district manager is active in the local chamber of commerce. This information can go a long way toward humanizing your company and making people more willing to do business with you. As an example, here's an Executive Bios section for the Internet multimedia directory site StreamSearch.com.
Publish press releases on your site. Press releases serve at least two functions. They let the media know about new product, financial, or personnel developments in your company, and they can be used as the basis and inspiration for news stories. They are also useful as a fact-checking resource for reporters who are writing stories about your company or your products. Some savvy nonjournalist Web visitors use these areas to stay up on your company as well. Xpress Press Service features a helpful article on how to write a press release for e-mail distribution.
Post job listings. As the primary online resource for information about your company, your site will be visited by many prospective employees. Posting listings of currently available jobs can be a useful and helpful strategy. It's best to link to these from a Jobs, Employment Opportunities, or better yet, a Work for Us link from the home page. If you have a large number of openings, list the available positions by category. Each description should have a list of requirements, duties, and a dedicated e-mail link (such as "email@example.com") so that candidates can submit their application directly to your company.
Feature FAQs. People are bound to pose a lot of the same questions about products your company sells or services it provides. There's a way to organize these queries (and the answers to them) into a helpful, easily available hierarchy that will benefit everyone: a list of frequently asked questions, or FAQs.