If you want your website or your client websites to generate more leads and revenue, you have to get the content right. But here’s the biggest challenge …
Companies go wrong with their website content when they assume the thing they are trying to prove — that readers should be interested in what they have to say.
This is an easy trap to fall into, and it stems from “inside the box” thinking. Company personnel are so immersed in their business, they take it for granted that people outside the box will immediately recognize why their company has so much to offer.
Such an approach produces website content that recites a laundry list of company accomplishments and product features, but this type of content fails to connect the dots. It fails to explain how all of these accomplishments and features benefit the reader.
One of my sales mentors used to say that whenever you’re talking to a customer, imagine he or she is wearing a hat that says, “So what?” Ever since I heard that, I keep it in mind whenever I’m writing or editing website content.
For example, if I write, “Our widget has high-quality components,” I haven’t answered the question, “So what?” I need to add, “Customers using our widget average 30 percent less downtime for repairs, improving throughput and reducing yearly maintenance costs anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.”
To write from the customer’s point of view — to answer the question, “So what?” — a writer should try to do as many of the following as possible:
- Spend time in the field talking to, and more important, listening to, customers. Talk to as many types of customers as you can: satisfied customers, dissatisfied customers, customers who value your organization highly, customers who barely know who you are.
- Read customer inquiries that come in through the website or customer service email. Look for patterns. Study how your customer service/sales team responds.
- Study the content of competitor sites, especially your best competitors. How well do they answer the question, “So what?” How can you do better?
- Study the content of your website. What content gets in the way of answering the question, “So what?” Can you eliminate that content? Rewrite it? Reposition it?
What other techniques help you create persuasive website content?