How to Improve Your Customers' Experience with Great Web Content

When you’re creating web content, the golden rules you read from experts all over the Internet can become overwhelming. Add to that the ever-evolving trends and changing SEO practices you need to keep up with - and before long it can all seem a little out of your control.

I always say that the most important point to remember when you’re writing anything for the web is that you’re creating it for a customer. So, when you’re writing your content, think about how it can genuinely improve your customers’ experience of your website.

Not sure where to start? Here are my tips on improving your website’s customer experience.

Write for Humans

Your customers and website visitors are humans. It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to begin to distance yourself from your audience, especially if you’re elbow deep in SEO keywords and product descriptions. Take a good look at the content you’ve created and ask yourself one thing: ‘does this sound natural?’

Of course you’ll need to take your own company’s branding into account, and what’s natural for one business might seem unusual or awkward for another.

Make it easy for yourself and put your metaphorical feet inside your customers’ shoes. Take a little browse around your site. Are there any pages that seem off to you? Could your writing use a little less jargon? Make a list and use this to inform how you amend your content.

Be Positive

You might not have noticed at first glance but you may be talking your business down. You need active calls to action in your web content in order for it to be truly functional, but increasingly savvy consumers are getting wise to this, and they don’t like it.

The best reaction to this is not to force it. Don’t try sneaking your ‘Buy it now’ links into text - and instead be upfront. Offer help, support and a friendly team member’s undivided attention to your customers  in return for a quick chat about their needs. It sounds much more positive than a fake offer or a ‘time’s running out’ deal.

Aim to make your customers happy and you’ll be glad you did.

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Offer Something Unique

Your customers are looking for value - and this is called ‘value propositioning’. They’ll understand what your company does quickly, and they’ll even grasp the basics of your products within a few minutes.

What you need to show them is why your business can offer something nobody else can.

  • How can you pique their interest?

  • How can you delight them?

  • How can you fix a problem they didn’t even realise they had?

  • What can you do that goes above and beyond?

  • Why should they subscribe to your blog?

Don’t just list your team members. Talk about who they are, why they’re great, what they can do for your customers. Use your web content to create a connection, and you’ll stand out far above the crowd.

Use More Straightforward Language

Just because you use acronyms within your office all the time doesn’t mean your customers will understand what they mean. Even if your industry-specific products come with long-winded, technical descriptions as standard, break them down so that anyone could understand their benefits and appreciate their usefulness. Think of it this way:

  • A parent could be buying this for their tech-savvy child

  • A newcomer to the industry could be looking for equipment they need

  • Acronyms could vary between countries and within industries.

Jargon can easily be misunderstood and can present a barrier through which your customers are unlikely to try and break. As long as you use the wording expected of your business and industry, speaking simply and in straightforward language will only make you seem more professional, not less.

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If you’d like to find out more about how to create great web content, or you’d like to chat about how I could support you with yours, contact me today. I’d love to help.

Until next time…

Did Someone Say Cake...?

Yesterday (Friday, January 23) marked my ninth year as a freelance copywriter. And how do I know this? Good old LinkedIn. Its helpful reminder had me reaching for the cake (any excuse to celebrate, eh?) and wondering where on earth the best part of a decade has gone.

Need a Hand with Your Next Copywriting Project?

So, what does my nine years' experience mean to you? Assurance. I'd like to think it takes away any reservations you may have about choosing me for your next copywriting project - big or small. After all, I've been crafting copy for businesses like yours for round about 3287 days, give or take weekends. And yes, I had to Google that - there was a reason I chose a career with words, not numbers.

In terms of experience, nine years has seen me put my creative copywriting skills to everything from email marketing, printed advertising, web copy, press releases, and social media updates. I've worked with brands as diverse as QVC's shopping channel to Fosters Beer, Flowers Direct, and Denby Dale's Yummy Yorkshire ice cream parlour - and I can't wait to take on my next big assignment!

How has the last nine years panned out for you? Perhaps you'd like to give your business the boost it deserves, but you're not sure where to start?

Yorkshire-based Freelance Copywriter - Available for Hire

Need a copywriter? I'm a Yorkshire-based freelance copywriter working from my home in Huddersfield. But don't let that put you off; the fact I work remotely means I can lend a hand to your brand and its communications, wherever you are.

Fancy a chat about your next project? Simply send me a note over here and we'll go from there.

A Really Tenuous Fairground Analogy: Why Networking is Like a Ride on the Bumper Cars

Like being denied an ice cream from the van 'because there's choc ices in the freezer', or opening your lunch box to reveal, not a deliciously moreish Penguin biscuit, but a piece of soggy fruit,  there are few things less soul destroying as a kid than the two words my fingers are about to type: 'NO BUMPING!'.

Picture the scene for a second: you've queued up for what feels like an eternity at the fairground. You've selected your bumper car - a fine sparkly number in the colour red - and you've had a sly look round to ascertain where your mates are. The whistle is blown and you're off! And in a bid to wipe the cheeky little smile off your pal's face, you've delivered a stomach-churning bump of epic proportions.

Just like that, though, the fun is brought to a miserable halt. A wooden board featuring nine measly characters is held up, along with an accompanying shriek from the red-faced ride attendant. You swiftly realise that you're not on the bumper cars, like you first thought, but the dodgems.

dodgems vs bumper cars

My point? As a kid, you no doubt relished the chance to get stuck in, bumping into all and sundry and having a right good time at it. No one liked dodgems, spoiling all the fun...

I reckon, when it comes to networking events (and here comes the tenuous analogy. I made a quip about no one liking dodgems the other week and my boss challenged me to make a blog out of it) you've really got to embrace your inner bumper car. You get nowhere from being (the proverbial) dodgem. Everyone knows that.

For months - years even - I've put off getting along to a local networking event as I 'just didn't think it'd be for me'. I was wrong. Sure, the work didn't come rolling in after my very first session. But I made some new pals, met a lady from a local salon who sent me some high end hair products to review on my beauty blog, and picked up a couple of new work leads. And I got to enjoy coffee and cake, too - result!

Had I chose to be a 'dodgem', as usual, I'd have probably stayed at home, popped on the telly and had a little moan about my lack of work. Give it a go, too. And next time you're at the fair, stride past the sign for the dodgems. They're not nearly as fun as the real thing. And sitting watching Gogglebox isn't nearly as entertaining as interacting with actual people.

Right, I'm off to get an ice cream cone from the van, and swap tomorrow's soggy office lunch 'treat' for a Penguin.

Until next time....

Telly Addict? Here's How Watching X Factor Can Improve Your Copy

With the clocks going back this weekend, I know what I'm looking forward to doing: curling up on a sofa under a duvet and a mug of something warm and frothy in my hand. Preferably with added Flake.

And do you know what? Time spent watching Saturday night telly isn't wasted, in my opinion. Just last week, I explained why over on Sarah Holbrook's blog.

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A fellow Huddersfield-based lady, Sarah's site - Working InSync - offers marketing solutions to businesses across Yorkshire and Humberside.

After meeting Sarah at a recent networking event - more on that subject in an upcoming blog - she asked me to put fingers to keyboard to create a blog about creating engaging copy. And here it is:

Don't forget to have a browse round Sarah's site while you're over there; she may just be able to help you, too.

Until next time...