Imagine you run a tyre repair business. You want a website for your business: something that reflects your personality and how much you love cars. You want your website to be an extension of you - because isn’t choosing a website just like buying a car?
Speaking of cars, you want your website to feature lots of cars, preferably prestige cars to give an upmarket impression. And you want to showcase your expertise by using ‘technical’ terms in the website copy. You want your customers to know that you know what you’re talking about so the website copy needs to mention things like ‘outboard faces’ and ‘axels’ and ‘valve stems’.
Your website is shaping up to be an excellent personal site - and a terrible business one...
What your customers are looking for in your website is something that speaks to them. Unless you’re planning to be your own website’s biggest fan, you need to write your website for your audience, not you.
If your tyre repair business’ average customer is middle-aged, female and drives a family car, filling it with pictures of high-end muscle cars and loving descriptions of car parts probably isn't talking to them.
Your personal dream may be to one-day own a Maserati but your main aspiration (not to mention the key to achieving that dream) is to build a successful business. Your website is the vehicle (sorry…) to help you do just that and it achieves this by reaching out to potential customers and converting them with relevant content that’s geared to them.
Your customers probably aren’t as into cars as you are - they care about their car and they need it to work, which is why they want you to help them. Which is lucky as, if they knew as much about cars as you do, they wouldn’t be your customer, they would be your competitor. So the text on your website needs to be less technical.
Your website needs to tell potential customers about how the service you offer will make them feel, what it will do for them and what they can expect if they choose you. And not just tell them, show them. This means fewer pictures of prestige cars and more pictures of happy people collecting their fixed cars.
The point of a business sales website is to articulate clearly the customer experience that compels people to choose you. Obviously you want to inject your own brand into the design and text: a business copywriter should be able to capture your style and tone of voice and translate it into a language your customers understand and find reassuring and attractive.
Business leaders know how to engage with customers already: it’s something they do every day face-to-face but often when businesses start to think about website content, they think different rules apply.
So if you’re looking at a new business website – or a redesign of your existing one – make sure your website mirrors your customer’s language, needs and expectations and doesn’t just offer them a selfie of you.