Whether you have a startup, small business or an established empire, the content and copy on your site needs to cater to people – not corporations – even if your customers are other businesses rather than consumers. The key is to lend a human voice to your writing, keeping in mind that actual people are perusing your site, not robots.
Here are 4 tips on how to make your site more people-friendly, from a copywriter, site builder and journalist.
1. Talk it through. Does your site convey information and a voice you’d use when you casually talk to friends or new customers about your business? Find a new customer, or have a friend role play, and explain your business to them from start to finish. The language you use should match the language on your site; it should be friendly and helpful.
2. What’s in it for me? Speak in terms of benefits for the customer. Everything should answer one simple question: Why is this going to make my customers’ lives better? Whether you’re a janitorial professional, IT consultant or graphic artist, you’re offering something to the customer that makes their lives brighter, simpler, cleaner and/or more beautiful. Think of Apple as an example here. We don’t think about iPhones in terms of megabytes and pixel resolution. We think of them as pals that help us. You can practice on your friend once more here – tell them what’s in it for them in several different ways and see which one gets their attention.
3. Keep it simple. A lot of sites have enthusiastic writers and small business owners who want to inform the customers of all of the great benefits (which is great – see above). There’s only one issue – they convey too much too fast. Make sure that your site is easy to follow, with just two to three pieces of information per page. Your tabs should also be easy to follow and universally understood. For example don’t try to be clever and hide “About Us” in a “This is how we do it” tab. Get clever in the copy, not the formatting – unless you know that your customers will get the joke.
4. Proof read. Sometimes we’ve read things so many times that we don’t know what we’re looking at anymore. Before launching your site, be sure to step away from the computer, take a walk, forget what you wrote and re-read it. Whn wee knwo wat we wnt to cnvoey our eyyes otfen igrnore erorrs. See what I mean?
5. Test drive with fresh new eyes. Have your aforementioned friend (make sure they’re someone you can trust who won’t be afraid to tell you their opinions), go through the site as a test user. Watch where they get stuck. Have them talk through the process and see where you can make things clearer or friendlier. Make sure it’s a friend who’s never visited your site before and isn’t familiar with your business model. This will ensure an unbiased opinion.
For more tips on running an efficient small or medium business, visit Bluevine.com.
This article was written by Valerie Demicheva, Marketing Manager at BlueVine.com. It’s BlueVine’s mission to be the fastest and easiest way to get invoices paid, helping small business owners to free up cash for paying expenses and growing their company.