“What’s In It For Me?”
That’s All Site Visitors Want To Know
As a site designer, SEO, copywriter or some other someone working in the web world, chances are you have clients – clients who have objectives.
|Umm, they don't care about you.|
Some want to sell something, or lots of different things. Some want opt-ins for a FREE special report. Others want visitors to subscribe to their insightful newsletters or fill out a form. These are the objectives of the site owner – your client and person with the checkbook.
Naturally, these clients want their sites to meet their objectives. If the client is selling a vitamin supplement, her objective is to sell more jars of the product. If the author of a newsletter on precious metals publishes an “insider’s report,” he wants more subscribers.
If the site is soliciting donations, the objective is obvious – more donors, repeat donors, generous donors. Therefore, the site copy on the home page and landing pages is usually written to meet the objectives of the site owner and not the site visitor.
And the fact is, the objectives of site owners and visitors are distinct and, at times, even contradictory. The fact is that site visitors don’t give a whit about your clients, their web sites, their problems or their clever turn of a phrase. They want the answer to one very simple question:
What’s in it for me?
Let’s look at a couple of examples of site text with snarky, visitor comments inserted:
Pest Control is a family-owned business (who cares, I got bugs) with deep roots in the Tri-City Area. (I said I don’t care. Bugs are eating my house.) We offer a variety of services to manage your pest problems (Can you get rid of my bugs?) safely, effectively and completely. (Umm, okay.)
We offer the latest in pest control technology (Huh?) and we guarantee our work. (OK, that part’s good.)
Out technicians are trained in the latest pest control technology, they’re certified and they’re friendly. (I don’t care if he looks like Quasimodo, I just want somebody so get rid of termites. Now.)
That little snippet of text is all about Acme Pest Control and closing another sale. Naturally, that’s the company’s objective, but it’s not necessarily the site visitor’s objective, which is to find a solution to a termite problem.
So, posture the text to meet the objectives of the visitor, NOT the site owner.
Got bug problems? (Why, yes, yes I do.) Want to get rid of them today? (That’d be great?) Want to keep your family and pets safe? (Well, of course. I hadn’t even thought of that.)
Tired of calling around trying to find a solution to your pest problems? (Oh, man, I’m so tired. Can you help?) We solve all of your pest problems quickly, safely and now. (How do I reach you?) You want to solve a pest problem, call us at (123) 555-1234. (I’m dialing, I’m dialing!)
We’ll be there today to help you. Guaranteed. (“Hello, Acme
In this case, the site text isn’t about the company (your client) it’s all about the visitor – solving their problems and serving their needs.
Unfortunately, even gigantic, global conglomerates use site text that’s designed to meet their global conglomerate objectives, not the objectives of the site visitor. I’ll bet you 99.9% of all 122 million web sites are designed to meet the site owner’s objectives. And that’s why so many sites crash and burn.
It’s blunt but true: site visitors don’t care about you, your site, your corporate history or you cool new headquarters. Those are the objectives of the site owners – to brag a little bit and “sell” the site visitor.
Forget selling. Provide solutions in your site text, focus on the visitors objectives not your objectives or the client’s objectives (this may take a little explanation and diplomacy on your part) but the results will be there in higher conversion ratios.
Don’t design a site to meet the site owner’s objectives. They’re different from the objectives of site visitors. Instead, write copy the simplifies achieving visitor’s goals and the site will convert, the client will make money and parades will be scheduled in you honor.
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