If you’re wondering how to write website content, then you’ve probably already dabbled a little and realized that it’s harder than it looks.
And you’re probably already making the biggest mistake you can possibly make… even if you haven’t written a single word.
The mistake is something so subtle that you wouldn’t even think about it until someone pointed it out to you…
It’s about the language that you use.
Copywriters have known this problem for a long time, but the average person who’s trying to figure out how to write content for their own website is just going to miss this completely.
They’re going to miss out on leads and sales.
Here’s the Mistake…
The mistake is writing content that’s focused on you and your business.
The trick to writing awesome website content that converts starts with using customer-centric language.
Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes into writing web content, but if you’re not using customer-centric language, your efforts are going to be so held back that you might as well not even try.
Simply, it means choosing language that centers around your customer and their wants and needs — and not your business, your wants, or your needs.
You have about 15 seconds to grab attention before more than half of your visitors start to bail, so if your website content isn’t on point, you’re literally losing sales.
How to Write Content for a Website That Generates Traffic, Leads, and Sales
You should be using customer-centric language in every interaction you have with your potential leads and customers.
The principle can apply to all types of communications with your customers and potential leads, but primarily, it applies to your:
- Social media interactions
- Print materials
- Phone calls
- In-person interactions
What does customer-centric language mean? Why does it matter? What does it look like in practice?
Focus on the Customer — Not Your Business
Remember in high school when your teacher told you that you weren’t allowed to use personal pronouns in your essays anymore?
Yeah, that’s wrong.
Don’t refer to your customer as “one” on your website.
The reason you don’t do that is that it’s impersonal. It feels like you’re talking about someone else, not the customer.
For the same reason, you don’t want to use pronouns like “we” or “us.”
It’s impersonal — it makes everything about you and not about them.
When you talk exclusively about your business and forget about the most important person in the room — the customer — you become less likely to sell anything.
Customers aren’t on your website because they give a dang about you.
They’re on your website because they have a problem. You need to tell them how you solve it — and why your solution is best for them.
Write for and About Your Customer
Here’s what bad, non-customer-centric language looks like:
“We make the best widgets around. We’ve been making widgets for 30 years. Nobody manufactures widgets like we do. Our widgets will blow your mind. These widgets have the following features…”
We also call this business-centric language.
In that horrible paragraph above, there’s only a single word that actually refers to your customer — everything else refers to the business.
Why does this matter? Why not just write about yourself?
Because your potential customers don’t care that much about you yet. Your leads haven’t gotten to know you yet. They need to know what you can do for them before they even think about contacting you.
It’s like a date — if you go on a date with someone, and they spend the whole time talking about themselves and how awesome they are, how likely are you to have date number 2?
But there’s a more important reason why you want to avoid talking mostly about your business, why you should always focus on what your business can do for your customers.
Business-Centric Language Is Less Persuasive
The entire point of the content in your marketing communications — the content on your website, or in your brochure, or on your social media pages — is to persuade.
So ask yourself a simple question — what’s more persuasive to you:
“Our vehicles are simple and affordable, and we made them beautiful too!”
“You can get the vehicle you need, at the price that’s right for you, without compromising your personal style.”
I’m betting it’s the second one.
The second sentence is more persuasive because it speaks to the customer directly. It considers their needs and their emotional connection — both to the product and to issues surrounding the product that may affect their willingness to make a purchase.
It focuses on the things that matter most to them when considering the product.
It’s more persuasive.
Website content is more persuasive when it speaks to the customer directly
The first sentence is too general, has nothing to do with the customer, and is all about the business.
It’s not persuasive.
Speak to Your Customers — Inspire Them, Enlighten Them, Help Them
The marketing that’s most effective inspires people.
It doesn’t even acknowledge the brand, in many cases, or only does so, say, at the tail-end of a commercial, where you realize the brand of the car in question after a discussion of personal style and class.
This can happen on websites too — in fact, it needs to because that’s where you’re going to get a great number of potential leads. This is how to write website content that persuades, that inspires people to fill out forms and purchase things.
Because guess what? Most of the traffic on your website, most of those potential leads? They will never come back. For most readers, you have one chance to grab their attention and convince them to take action.
So you need to make the best first impression you can possibly make. If the content on your website is all about you, those potential leads disappear.
You’re not going to impress anyone with information about who you are or what you do — at best, people will see that and say “Good, they know what they’re doing — they should.” That’s a baseline.
While all your marketing materials need to be persuasive and speak to your potential customer, you have a wide variety of places where your leads or customers are interacting with your business.
And your language there needs to be customer-centric too.
Keep Your Language Customer-Centric Everywhere
If you’re saying all sorts of beautiful, wonderful, glorious things to leads to get them in the door, but the emails you send them once they become a customer are atrocious, you’re going to lose them.
If you sound nice and charitable and giving on your website and answer the phone with an angry edge in your voice, you’re going to lose them.
It’s critical that all your communications with your customers — everything from a social media post or a tech-support chat to an automated email drip, a phone call, or even an in-person conversation — are approached from a customer-centric viewpoint.
The key is to be consistent. When you have inconsistent messaging, customers get confused. Consistent, clear messaging that puts them first is the most effective means of getting them to make a purchase.
Ready to Plan Out Your Content?
It can be hard to take all this information and work it out in practice. It can be extremely difficult to try to figure out how to write content for a website when you’ve never done it before (or you’ve tried before and failed).
That’s why we offer content plans. We’ll create a detailed, actionable 6-month content plan you can use right away to plan out your website with content that converts, including what pages need to be rewritten, how to rewrite them, and what new content to create.