(Part 2 of my 3-part guide to writing genuinely customer-focused website copy.)
Are you talking to yourself?
I feel like I should interrupt, but I don’t want to be rude. It’s an easy trap to fall into when it comes to the copy on your website. We spend so much time defining a mission and identifying the ideal niche. All that strategic stuff, the inwardly-focused stuff, takes time and effort. Once it’s time to move to the actual pages of your site, you want to use it. I get it.
But you’ve got to put it aside and get customer-focused on every single page. Otherwise, you could end up with a website that suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder. Welcome to Part 2 of my 3-part guide to writing genuinely customer-focused website copy. Read on to learn how to bring visitor-centricity to the web pages that matter most.
Home Page: Wemember the weader.
The success of your home page hinges on how well you express the 3Ws (what you do, for whom and why you’re different). Be clear, as in stick to your key message and the big benefit it brings. Be creative, as in not strategic-sounding. And be empathetic, as in address your customers’ pain points and help them to envision themselves using your product or service.
(Insider tip: To ensure every word you write is relevant to your readers, tape your buyer persona to the wall right in front of you. Look at it before, during and after you write. (And if you haven’t done a buyer persona, just visualize your ideal customer, and write to them.)
The About Page: Make it all about them.
There are many ways to spin the story of your company. The best is the one that imparts the biggest benefit to visitors. Yes, accentuate your positives, tell a personal story (not just a timeline) and find an interesting angle—but most importantly, make your “about us” actually “about them.”
Services Page: It’s better to lose them than confuse them.
Your website plays an important role in bringing you qualified leads—ones who know what you’re selling and are interested in buying. So be clear in explaining what you offer, even if it means alienating the visitors who aren’t a good match—it will save you the expense of following up on unqualified leads. You can’t be all things to all visitors, so be the best candidate for your ideal customers.
Direct visitors to the information they need in a quick scan or in the least number of clicks possible. But remember: being clear doesn’t mean being generic. Your job isn’t to make yourself dismissible; it’s to make sure the value of your unique features comes through loud and clear. So market to your visitors. If you feel the need to expand on points or offer substantiation (e.g. testimonials, case studies or research) provide a link.
Why Me Page: Don’t be afraid to sell.
There are times when prospects need (nay, want!) to be sold; they need you to tell them your service rocks, that it will most definitely work for them and no other option they’re looking out will deliver the results you can. Your Why Me Page provides you the opportunity to inspire confidence and excitement.
But be careful not to let narcissism grab the wheel and turn visitors off. All of the information you provide should address prospects’ hot points – just telling them you’re an award-winning service provider isn’t enough. For everything about you that’s great, tell them why it matters to them.
Careers Page: Let them in.
People pick jobs for a lot of reasons other than the compensation package and company’s prestige. Think of the best job you ever landed. What was it that made you fall in love with the company in the first place? If you’re like most people, it was some personal connection you made, whether it was with a person you gelled with, a workplace feature that felt like home or the opportunity you saw to make a difference. In short, the clincher is often something that you connected with. It wasn’t, “This place is so vanilla. I know I’ll love it here.”
No, somewhere in the recruitment process, the organization let you in by letting its guard down. Whether it was some character that you met, some kooky tradition you learned about or that peanut butter machine they put in the breakroom. So be bold and let your company’s credentials shine, but also let them see your company’s humanity.
Other pages: show how well you know them.
Visitors want to know you “get” them. With the myriad other options out there, they won’t have it any other way. Know your market and write to them at the risk of losing people who aren’t in your market. Seth Godin refers to it as reaching the weird outliers who make super fans and brand advocates. Those are the people you want. Talk to them.
Want more pointers for sharpening the customer focus of your website copy? Read Part 1 of my series for general tips, or read Part 3 to see how to write CTAs, navigation terms and more with genuine persona-appeal.
Want to talk website copy? I’m all ears.