WHEN DID YOU LAST ‘PULL’?! — Self-test your website’s engage-ability
It is easy to forget the frame of mind of people visiting our organisation/business website.
When we write our website text, and tweak words here and there, we can forget what matters most. For example:
- People dart in and out of websites very, very quickly. — Speed
- They are often searching for particular things and key words (though they may not have formulated them precisely in their heads). — Search
- They make snap decisions as to whether or not a website (yours) can help them. — Snap
Don’t agree? / Agree?
If you need a little persuading, cast your mind back to the last time you used the web to trawl through several websites, for example to find a budget holiday, or choose somewhere to stay.
Think how quickly you made judgements of different websites, and their offers. And how quickly you decided whether or not to spend more time investigating any given website.
Did an attractive PICTURE (e.g. a luxury bedroom, or tasty-looking buffet) or CATCHY HEADING (‘River view’, ‘Convenient for …’) lure you into looking further… or maybe to book?
I make those comparisons as a reminder that people browsing websites are reading so fast that your text has to engage with them in a flash, and/or catch their attention immediately.
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ – the saying goes.
But the right words can achieve the same ‘pull’.
Mistakes to AVOID
With this in mind, here’s the main heading on 5 homepages of websites that I reviewed recently – followed by my comments and suggestions.
1) ‘Finding clients for our customers’
How effectively does that engage with target customers. Instead, I’d suggest ‘We find you more clients. Guaranteed!’? — Be absolutely clear with your main message
2) ‘Increase your online presence in Style!’
What is that about? Putting something like this requires reader to read further in order to find out. But will people bother? — Make sure you have an impact.
3) ‘No sooner said than done’
That was used by a promoter of voice recognition software. But I’d argue it is a little cryptic. Instead, I suggested something clearer, like ‘Discover how to type at double speed – no course required.’ — Don’t try and be too clever.
4) ‘Welcome to …’
Looks a nice greeting, but people have already typed in your url, or selected it on Google, so do they need it? Plus, it means they are crowding out their main message. — There is no need for such ‘Happy talk’ on websites.
5) ‘Working with small and large businesses in the UK. No job is too small’
Don’t a lot of companies claim things like that? Does it distinguish you enough, I asked them? — Try and be unique, if you can
Advice for your homepage
The way to engage people, and lure them into your website, is by making sure your homepage’s words ‘speak to’ the reader in one of two ways:
- Pick up on ‘problems/issues’ that they are looking to solve/answer
- Highlight the benefits that your product/service can do for them.
For further information
This is one of a series of articles to help you ‘self-test’ your website and the effectiveness of its writing. In my next article I will look at how to Engage more clients through your text.