Quite often, I work with web clients who really have it together.
They understand their audience’s needs and how their web site can help. They have a great solution that’s easy to write about. They also understand their unique value proposition — what sets them apart from the competition.
Yet, often when I look at the messages on the client’s site, I realize that it’s full of industry jargon and phrases the company uses internally. It’s simply not written or optimized for the visitor OR for search engines.
Here’s a simple tweak that will make a huge difference in attracting and retaining your target audience:
Shift your messages to reflect the way your customers and prospects think and speak.
Here are two examples.
1. Let’s say a company creates a new landing page focused on an exciting new product that lets pet owners create talking greeting cards with recordings of their dog’s barking, panting and other sounds. And they call it, “SingBling!” The content on their website says, “SingBling really swings!”
Well, do you think anyone is searching for that product name on Google? Maybe, maybe not. But if you truly want to speak to prospects … how about changing the headline to something clear and customer-focused like this: “Wow – create talking greeting cards with your dog’s voice!” This assumes people are looking for talking greeting cards.
2. I recently read an online article with the following headline …
Spam-proof Your eDM
I had to search online for a definition of eDM because it wasn’t spelled out or even explained anywhere in the article. Answers.com listed 17 different possible meanings for the acronym eDM, including the first one: Easy Damn Money. #2 on the list: Electronic Dance Music. I’m pretty certain the writer didn’t intend either of those! In fact, he meant Electronic Direct Marketing.
My point is, the writer assumed that all readers know this acronym. It would have been helpful to spell it out the first time, and perhaps even more search-engine-friendly to do so.
It’s easy to do this kind of reality check on your own site. Just ask a few members of the target audience to view the site and point out any phrases that sound like jargon, any unknown acronyms, or any other “corporate speak” terms that could be shifted to plain customer-focused language.
Until next time,
Here’s to a clear and prosperous site!
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