Monday June 20, 2011
What do customers want to know when they’re looking for solutions to problems that you purport to solve?
Whenever we’re assigned to write clients’ Web pages we follow best practices as we do for all content. What ‘best practices’ call for in Web content is not so different from other forms but the Web does force the writer and editor to become a little more brutal. Actually, it’s the audience that’s the force at work.
We like to say that customers aren’t interested in your product (or service), they’re interested in their problem. Specifically, visitors to your site aren’t interested in you so much as the need they’re trying to fill or the hard facts they’re trying to gather as the basis of filling that need. And this tells you two things:
1. To the extent that your product or service is too much in the face of the site visitor, you increase your chances of a quicker “bounce”, or departure of this visitor.
2. Ditto above if your content is jargon-heavy with with acronyms or industry-speak.
Except for those pages or links that are specifically tailored for existing customers, or prospects who are well down the path to a decision, you want your Web content to widen the top of the funnel. So, you’re going to score points to the degree you show an interest and expertise in the problems they have, not the fixes you offer. Not yet, anyway. With this in mind, product-focused content should be avoided. Your ‘welcoming lobby’ should be a pressure-free zone to introduce the visitor to your business, same as your social-media strategy should be at all times. It’s where you start to build trust.
As for the language you use, choose your words carefully. Use only those words and expressions that you are certain your prospects use. Search engines use signals throughout social media for ranking search results. This means that your Web site is only incidental to the wider territory your prospects cover every day and in which they interact with other prospects online. Be sure to use the words and phrases they are looking for, not the flavor-of-the-month terminology you think is cool.