Have you ever gone on a date and the guy or gal droned on and on about themselves and failed to ask about you? Most of us know it is bad form not to listen to the person you are out with. Not listening almost certainly guarantees there will be NO follow phone call or date. (If you didn’t know, aren’t you glad you are reading this?)
The same applies to your web copy. No matter how people communicate or how technology changes, I believe this is one rule that will always apply. It’s human nature to be interested in ourselves first and foremost. I’m not saying its good or bad, but it’s how things are.
And tuning into others, is a powerful way to attract them to you in business or social settings.
Here’s an example of what not to do on your homepage:
Many, many Websites start with something like “Acme Extreme Superstar Web Design was founded in 1997. We design widget websites for pelicans, etc.” Unfortunately they often aren’t that silly, but the web copy does start off talking about themselves including the year they started the business.
So what should you do? Instead of talking about yourself first, put yourself in the shoes of your prospects first and look at the problems they are facing from their point of view.
Readers are, as I said before, focused on themselves and mostly wondering about if and how you can help them. Don’t make them guess, –tell them up front who your service or product is for and what problems it addresses.
What does that look like? An example from the homepage of Full Orbit Web and Marketing, (as this is what I know best):
Need an Effective Web Presence?
- Do you need a search-friendly website? Have a site now and want to update your brand identity?
- Are you ready to add e-commerce, online registration or a photo gallery etc.?
- Does your business plan call for internet marketing to connect you to local, national or international prospects ONLINE?
A really great website can help you grow your business. Many businesses use their website to explain their ideas, establish credibility, and attract new leads online to their service.
To wrap things up and point you in the right direction: You are getting it right when sentences center around “you,” not “I” or “we.
Karen Nierlich is an internet marketing consultant with Full Orbit Web and Marketing. She works with every client to plan their navigation and either write their copy or give them support so they can write excellent web copy. This process ensures powerful web copy for every website launched by Full Orbit Web and Marketing (FOW).