The Cocktail Party Etiquette Guide to Writing for the Web
If you've ever been to a cocktail party, chances are you've been stuck with That Guy.
You know the one we're talking about. The guy who tells you all about his BMW, trophy wife and six digit income before ever taking his first breath. Who shares all the details of his last colonoscopy before he even asks your name.
The one who's so convinced of his own greatness that he never bothers to get to know anyone else.
Nobody likes That Guy.
Unfortunately, many people turn into That Guy the minute someone clicks on their website. Are you one of them?
When writing for the web, remember: It's all about them.
People visiting your website for the first time don't want to hear about you.
They're visiting your website because they have a problem and are looking to find out if you have the solution.
So the moment you stop considering their needs and instead focus only on what you think makes your company so great, they stop listening.
Worse, they stop clicking - or they click right on out.
Make your website content the life of the party.
Think back to the last event you attended. Who was the center of conversation? It wasn't the guy who couldn't stop talking about himself.
It was the gal who was genuinely interested in the folks she was talking to. The one who seemed delighted to meet everyone she crossed paths with - and who made each and every party-goer feel like the most important person in the room.
Your website can be that gal. All it takes is a change in focus.
When writing for the web, remember:
- Focus on your audience. Use words like "you" and "your", not "I" and "we".
- Talk about benefits, not features. If the sentence you're writing only serves to make you feel good about yourself, instead of telling your audience how what you do helps them, you're doing it wrong.
- Present solutions. Let your audience know how working with you will make their lives easier.
They want to like you, they really do. So be likeable!
When surfing the web, people want to find the information they need and get on with their lives - fast. So, if you give them what they need, chances are, they'll stick around.
Keep that thought in the forefront of your mind top of mind when writing and editing your site's content and you'll absolutely boost your website's effectiveness.