Creating a business that stands out — a business that earns attention from your perfect group of prospects — is a big topic around here.
Attention is a non-negotiable necessity. We talked about developing your Big Idea, targeting the right people, using your genuine voice, and using your own personality to create a memorable brand in previous posts (if you missed them, do some catch-up before reading on).
But all of those things combined are worth almost nothing if you don’t communicate them to your audience.
And one of your most powerful tools for communication online is your website.
But the reality is, most business website say the same things:
“We have over 15 years experience serving our community. Customer service is our top priority and our top-of-the-line products and cutting edge services…blah…blah…blah“.
When we’re exposed to the same message over and over again, it becomes mute. We skip over it. After all, what does “top-of-the-line products” or “cutting edge service” really mean? How does that apply to our life and our situation and our needs?
As consumers, we want to get right to the point. We want to know how a product or service is going to benefit us. Most of us probably don’t care about top-of-the-line — we care about results.
So why do websites continue to push these repetitive, empty messages?
Probably because everyone else is doing it. Maybe because it’s the “standard” in business lingo.
But it’s also the best way to get completely ignored online.
So how do you combat same-old copy syndrome on your own website? Here are 3 reasons why no one pays attention to your website, and how to reverse the damage, pronto.
#1 – It’s full of buzzwords and jargon
You’re very familiar with your business and your industry. So trendy terms and common business jargon probably don’t faze you — after all, you know what it means. But your website visitors probably don’t. Most buzzwords don’t pact a meaningful punch. They just add fluff. And they make your message sound boring and irrelevant.
Solution: replace buzzwords and jargon with common language. Use words and phrases that get right to the point and are familiar to your visitors. Most of the time, the simplest way to say something is the most effective way to say something.
#2 – You boast the same qualities as your competitors
Let’s just get this out in the open from the start: great customer service, quality products, and “innovative” services are not points of differentiation. Every consumer expects these things from businesses as a base line. If you’re trying to convince a prospect to buy something from you based on the fact that they won’t have to waste hours on the line with your customer support representatives or return your product because of its inferior quality, you’re not going to stand out. These things are not selling points any longer, they’re business requirements.
Solution: tell people what you do differently or better than other businesses in your market. Go beyond quality — tell people how your product or service will improve their lives.
#3 – You want to sound like an impressive corporation
In an attempt to sound ultra-professional or larger than they actually are, some businesses rely on “corporate” sounding copy. They write in the third person, avoid using the words “I” or “you”, and wouldn’t dream of starting a sentence with “and” or ending it with a preposition. But this strategy can backfire big time.
It turns out that most people enjoy doing business with brands that seem…well, human. Those stiff, buttoned-up companies don’t sound very friendly. It’s the businesses that break a few traditional rules and show off their personality that grab people’s attention.
Solution: don’t be afraid to represent your true size and personality. The web is all about having conversations, and your business website is no exception. Write your copy with your brand in mind: do you want to be perceived as a faceless company, or are you a witty, spunky entrepreneur? An imaginative, energetic team? Does your brand have a sense of humor, a passion for a cause, a casual side?
We’ve all been there. It’s easy to follow the crowd and end up with an unimaginative website. If you’re ready to stop being ignored, these three solutions can turn your website into a true and captivating representation of your brand – one that attracts and keeps the attention of those elusive but oh-so-profitable perfect customers.