One message we have repeated over and over on these pages is the importance of making your clients or customers the focus of all your promotional work. Your YouTube videos, email campaigns, free books, and mass-media advertising should all highlight the unique benefits you offer a new customer.
Nowhere is this more important than on your website. Of course, it’s necessary to talk about yourself on your website—for instance, on your testimonial pages and where you present your biographical information and credentials. But every content page you add must be written to maximize appeal to clients’ intellects and emotions by discussing their needs and how you can meet them. Writing compelling website content for your medical practice, law firm, or other business requires constant attention to this principle.
Why is this so hard? If you are producing content regularly for your business website, you might worry that writer’s block will bring you to a standstill. In fact, the greater danger is the routine itself. As you adapt to a writing schedule, you will develop little shortcuts and conventions to make your writing job easier. Unfortunately, some of these tricks to make your writing job easier can make it harder for the client to relate to your material. Suddenly, you’ll find that you are no longer producing client-centered content.
Knowing the pitfalls that litter your path is, of course, the first step to avoiding them.
Four Rules You Must Not Neglect in Writing Client-Centered Content
Churning out updates to your web pages on a regular basis will teach you discipline, but it will also encourage you to develop bad habits that undercut the service you’re providing to your readers. Let’s look at four key areas where you must concentrate so you don’t lose sight of your clients’ needs:
You Have to Explain the Details
And you have to explain them not just once, but every time. You can’t assume your reader comes to the page you’re writing with any knowledge of your professional area, so you have to define key terms whenever you introduce them. Your legal website has to explain the acronym SSDI on each page it appears; a medical website must do the same with ACL. Even if you have devoted specific pages to Social Security Disability Insurance or the anterior cruciate ligament, you can’t assume that your reader will have visited those pages early on her journey through your website. Remember, each page of your site is a potential doorway for a new reader to enter; each page must therefore be equally reader-friendly.
You Must Adjust Diction and Style to Your Readers’ Capacity
Some of your bread-and-butter customers have limited reading skills. It’s all too easy to fluster those potential clients with complex sentence structure, a lush vocabulary, and richly descriptive clauses. And, as you become a more sophisticated writer, it’s easier to produce elaborate, “writerly” prose. Resist the temptation to show off. A short, direct sentence has impact. It sounds sincere. Simplicity sells. Tailor your writing to the needs of the community who will (we may hope) eventually be giving you money.
You Need to Stop Writing in Code
As a general rule, avoid abbreviations and other shortcuts. They lessen your time at the keyboard, but you should be more concerned about achieving clarity for your readers than saving time writing. It starts when you begin to use “Feb.” instead of February or “5th” instead of fifth on a regular basis. Then you begin littering your text with the percentage sign instead of writing percent. You will know you’re in dangerously deep waters when you catch yourself writing “100’s of 1000’s of satisfied clients” instead of hundreds of thousands (and, yes, that’s a real life example). You are writing for the convenience of others, so make sure you show that you’re making an effort to communicate.
Never Forget Your Educational Mission
Beginning content writers often produce turgid prose stuffed with too many statistics. Experienced but tired writers churn out work that offers a few general assertions but no new, solid information for the reader to digest. Your potential clients can tell the difference. We all recognize that educational web pages help establish you as an authority to be trusted. Each page that fails to educate, in turn, diminishes your credibility by convincing readers you can’t muster the facts to support your message.
Writing material for your website and using Foster Web Marketing’s content management system to post your prose online gives you unparalleled power over your own brand. For more tips on how you can reach the pinnacle of your professional goals, read more of our FREE online articles or call us to learn how we can give you a helping hand.