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TERMINALFOUR (T4) Tip 34: Web Writing: Know Your Audience  

Intended Audience:       Contributors and Moderators

TIP: Consider target audience when creating web content to boost message effectiveness

Explanation: Visitors to your web pages may not read every word published. However, they will scan to find information relevant and interesting to them. To guide that process, it is best to create written web content with your target audience in mind. For instance, while some web content (images, files, fact sheets) may be the same on your web pages, the way you convey information to an Extension agent will differ from how it is presented to the general public and others.

Preparing Your Web Content

While creating web content, ask yourself pointed questions. Then, ensure that the web content effectively delivers on your goals. Start with the following questions:

  1. Who is my target audience? Who am I trying to reach with my web content?
  2. What is the existing level of subject matter knowledge of my target audience? What new information can I offer?
  3. What is the intended outcome of presenting web content (to inform, to solicit responses, to encourage contact/participation, or another goal)

You’ll also have your own audience-specific considerations.

Publishing Web Content with Target Audience in Mind

For the UF/IFAS harmful algal blooms (HABs) website, the target audience is rather broad: Florida residents who are interested in learning more about HABs. Since the level of subject matter knowledge differs, web content is presented in a high-level overview style, along with relevant web links and fact sheets that provide additional information. The intended outcomes include to inform, and also to encourage action/participation that can reduce and prevent HABs.

Screenshot of the ‘Effects’ page of the UF/IFAS Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) website

Be sure to preview your web pages before publishing to ensure content displays correctly. Adjust as necessary.