Got A Messaging Matrix? Here’s Why Your Website Needs One
by Ashley Topp | Updated Jan 20, 2022
A website without a messaging matrix to link key messages with content strategy is like publishing a novel with no clearly discernible beginning, middle, or end. It’s just a bunch of words.
Just as we use sitemaps to determine the content we need on our websites and how we organize it, a messaging matrix helps us identify the 3 or so key messages we want our target buyers to know about each section of the website.
- If you’re working on your “Services Page,” what customer-focused messages can you deliver that really speak to their concerns and how you can meet/solve them, rather than just presenting a laundry list of what you do?
- On the “Homepage,” what key messages will resonate most with your target buyers so that they will instantly know what they are viewing, what you offer them, and be compelled to take action.
- On your “About Us” page, what can you tell visitors about your firm and/or about your team that boosts your credibility and gives target buyers reasons to believe you can deliver what you promise?
EASY APPROACH, POWERFUL TOOL
If it sounds complicated, it really doesn’t have to be. Creating a simple but powerful messaging matrix is easy. You just need to do it.
- Look to your creative brief and other branding work to ensure your website content and messaging is consistent with your other marketing/branding efforts.
- Create a spreadsheet/matrix and label worksheets according to what section of the website you are working on, such as “Home Page” or “Services” or “Products” or “Customer Service Information,” etc. (You get the picture.)
- Now, with your target customer in mind, ask yourself “Relevant to this section, what customer-focused messages can I deliver that really speak to their concerns and needs?”
- Next, identify how you can meet their needs/offer solutions. Don’t confuse listing what you do with the solutions you offer. Don’t say: “We offer smartphones and tablets.” Do say: “We provide technology that’s easy-to-use and keeps you connected with friends and family wherever you are.”
- Use short, concise wording when creating your messages, preferably one topic per sentence. And don’t worry whether the message is in final form (that can come later). What you’re most interested in at this stage is identifying key messages and creating structure around who they’re for, where they need to appear on the website, and what they need to say.
TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE?
What happens if you can’t come up with key messages to support a section of the website, or if you come up with too many messages?
- Too few messages is a possible sign that a section isn’t needed (it’s just excess content that no one will miss if it disappears) or that you need to rethink how or why it’s relevant to your target buyers.
- Too many messages might signal a need to further refine your messaging or split that part of your website into multiple sections.
THE RIGHT MESSAGE FOR THE RIGHT AUDIENCE
Primed with a well-conceived messaging matrix, you and/or your copywriters will be better able to produce content for each section of the website that connects with your target buyers in ways that compel them to take action to buy your products and services, download information, contact you, share your content with others, or all of the above! You’ll also be able to create content that’s consistent with your existing brand messages, delivers value, and that’s keyword rich (which will keep the search engines happy).