Write a Clear Page Purpose

Blackboard with chalk writing "What is Your Mission?"Why: Keeps you Focused on the Page Goal

Setting clear goals for your page is a great editorial trick and has significant benefits. It will remind you of what needs to be accomplished and will help reign you in if you go off-topic. Later, adding content will also be easier if you have a written purpose to which you can refer.

A written purpose helps you focus on what is important for that page. It will make your writing easier because you will have clarity along the way. For each decision you have to make, you can simply ask “will this sentence support or detract from the main purpose of this page?”

If you are working on a multi-functional team (web designer, SEO specialist, business owner, editor, etc.) agreeing on a common goal will help the team work cohesively in supporting that goal. It will be easier for each specialist to bring their expertise in support of the common purpose. If you are a one-person team, a written purpose or goal will keep you on track as you switch from one role to another.

How: Identify What the Page Visitor Should Feel/Think/Do

Ask yourself “what do I want the reader to take away from this page?” What type of thoughts or feelings do you want them to have? What type of action or initiative you would like the page to prompt?

Professional copywriters may identify the purpose for each paragraph they write before they write it. So they may map out the structure of ideas on the page, in editorial notes or in outline form, before they write the actual copy. Maybe you will not go that far but I strongly recommend that, at least for every page, you write down the main idea, the main purpose for that page.

IMPORTANT: Put the purpose at the top of the page so you can refer to it often.

Examples

Here is the purpose identified for the page you are now reading:

Visitor to learn the why (benefit) and how (practical implementation tips/steps) of page topic. Offer examples. Actions visitors should take: read next section or start actually writing a page purpose.

Here is another example purpose for a small business services page:

Visitor should understand we offer three types of services; two with fixed pricing and one which requires a prior consultation. Page should inspire trust in our capabilities; maybe show relevant testimonials. Page should target higher-end customer; users with lower budget should be directed to our off-the-shelf products. Desirable user action: submit contact form or give us a call. Additional user actions: click links to get more info on each service.

To Do

TO DO: Create a document where you can enter the text for all the pages you intend to create. Write down the page name and underneath it write the Page Purpose.

Please comment below if you have questions or relevant experiences to share…

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