Have you considered whether your web copy truly appeals to the people you want to reach out to?
When you first sit down to start putting together the content for your website, you’ll naturally focus on your business and what it does.
However, to ensure your copy really engages readers, your attention should be focused on what you can do for them.
Who are you trying to appeal to?
Before you can work out how to engage your target audience, you’ll need to define who they are.
If you haven’t already, it’s worth spending some time working out your key target markets and the precise types of people who will be interested in the products or services you offer.
If you provide services for other businesses, what sort of businesses are your most important prospective customers? And what sort of roles will the people within those businesses who use your services hold? If those people are not likely to be the decision-makers, you may want to think about appealing to them as well.
On the other hand, if your business is consumer-facing, think about the sort of individuals who will be most interested in what you have to offer.
Reaching out to the right people
The best way to engage your audience is to make them feel like you truly understand them, so when they read your web copy they feel you’re talking directly to them.
Think about the sort of problems they might be experiencing and how your products or services can help to solve them. Perhaps consider including short case studies or testimonials showing how your offering has helped others.
The key is to concentrate on what you can do for them.
Speaking directly to your target audience
People are much more likely to respond positively to website content that they feel is talking directly to them. So writing as if you’re speaking to a specific person will help to make your copy more engaging and persuasive.
Defining your target audience should make that task easier, giving you a clear idea of who the ‘you’ you’re addressing is.
Of course, if your audience includes several different types of people, you might find that makes addressing them directly a challenge. That’s where segmentation comes in…
Splitting your audience
Trying to address several different types of people with very different needs at the same time can make your web copy feel vague and unfocused or, worse, cold and distant.
To get around this issue, you could consider splitting your content, for example encouraging people to click on different links on your homepage depending on who they are. For a business-to-business website you might funnel people in different directions depending on their sector or role.
If your budget allows, the links could each take the visitor to a completely tailored version of your site, with all the content written specifically to meet the needs of that particular audience. Alternatively it could just take them through to a landing page summarising how you can help them, with links to other relevant pages of your site.
One company that tried this approach, Brand Regard, found that it resulted in three times more click-throughs from their home page.
Different people absorb information differently
The way people take in information varies hugely. Busy people often prefer bite-sized chunks of information that they can skim through quickly. However some like to have the option to dig deeper and reassure themselves that what you’re offering is right for them. Others prefer to keep reading to a minimum, so including high quality video content can help to engage them.
If you can, try to address all these needs, while keeping your top level content succinct and focused.
If you’re addressing an international audience it might also be worth getting your web content professionally translated into certain key languages. Not only does this make it easier for non-native English speakers to engage with your site. It also demonstrates that you care about your audience’s needs – an all-important factor in converting visits to sales.
There’s no better way of finding out whether your website is hitting the right buttons for your target audience than by asking them. Consider carrying out brief online surveys periodically to discover what people really think about your website and gather data on who they are, helping you get to know your visitors better. You can then strategically adjust the content and the way you present it based on their feedback.