Who decides what goes in your website content? You? A select group of senior managers? Delegating the content to a small, focused group of decision makers is great for consistency and efficiency. And possibly the worst decision you could make.
Let me explain.
The purpose of your website is to communicate with the outside world. Write it to please yourself and you’re missing the point. Worse still, you’re probably missing countless sales opportunities too. The people who really understand what needs to be in your website content are your customers – and the staff who are dealing directly with them.
I was recently looking at the website of a company selling telephone and communications systems. The content was clear and gave all the information you could ever want on the capabilities and specifications of the systems they were selling. But I’m willing to bet that such things are not the main reasons why customers choose one service provider over another – particularly when there are dozens of providers who could meet their technical requirements.
Website content is for customers
I’m convinced that a bit of research with existing customers would yield a different story and a different message for the website content. If you understood the critical factors that made your customers choose you over a competitor – wouldn’t you want to emphasize those for anyone else that looks at your site?
And what about your sales team? Every sale - particularly solution sales like IT and telecoms, will have some critical decision points during the process. Taking the time to analyse and document these before chasing the next sale provides a rich seam of persuasive website and marketing copy. How often does this happen? Yet a relatively simple debriefing process could be all it takes.
One argument for hiring a freelancer to write your web content is that they come to the project with no preconceived ideas about your business. It’s often easier for an external, impartial professional to get to the heart of why people really choose to do business with you.
Good marketing is specific
Say you were looking for an accountant to look after your tax returns. Most of them say ‘we save our clients money by ensuring they claim all their available allowances.’ Another says: ‘On average we save our clients £457 on their tax bill by identifying allowances they didn’t realise they could claim.’
The second is clearly more persuasive. The actual figure is irrelevant (but must be true, obviously). The fact that a specific figure can be quoted adds weight to the claim and differentiates you from the mass of companies making similar claims.
If your product or service saves customers money, find out how much they have saved and make sure you tell anyone else who might be considering doing business with you. Perhaps what you sell is more expensive than your competitors – people may still buy from you because you provide better overall value. If so, talk to your customers to understand fully what ‘value’ really means to them and build your website content around that message.
A final thought; phone a couple of recent customers today (or get me to do it for you) and ask them to give a couple of specific reasons why they did business with you. The difference between what they tell you and the message that you are giving on your website is a measure of the opportunity you are missing.by