Does Your Website Warm Up - Or Put Off - People?
Quick Assess-Yourself-Checklist: (Three Minutes)
Enquiries are prompted by feelings more than facts. Welcome, warmth and trust are keys.
So you want your website to work hard to form early bonds with potential clients. Your aim is to evoke feelings like warm, nice, friendly... and approachable. Achieve this by writing in a style of speaking TO potential clients rather than speaking AT them:
Speaking TO people involves talking about subjects related to them, by considering their thought processes and deliberately choosing words to engage them. You are encouraging them to enter into a dialogue with you – by email or phone.
This a relationship-building invitation. Done well it feels charming.
Speaking AT people involves talking about subjects that are important to you regardless of whether they are relevant to your audience – with little or no aim of initiating a dialogue.
This is basically an ex-cathedra announcement: it feels dry, distant or uncaring.
It can be difficult to hear your own style as others hear you. One of the biggest problems with proof-reading your own work is seeing what you expect to see, not what you actually present.
One word helps identify an engaging style of writing: 'because' - it signifies explanations.
It shows how helpful your message is. It is a key word, but is all too easy to forget.
How to check your website
Go to your Homepage and find the URL in the Google (or alternative) address bar:
Position the cursor at the left-hand side of the address
ie in front of the http
Type the word 'site' followed by a colon
At the right-hand end of the URL type a space and then the word 'because'
eg site:http://www.more.consulting because
Tap enter and Google will display a list of pages from your website that include 'because'
Immediately above the list you will see a count and speed report
eg "About 40 results (0.30 seconds)"
Take the number with a pinch of salt – sometimes it's accurate and other times it's not
But if you see a number in the hundreds, it may mean that you use an automated news feed or syndicated blog with other authors using the word. Skip over them, or use this shortcut...
On the right-hand end of the URL type a space and a minus in front of either 'blog' or 'news'
eg -blog or -news (or even both if appropriate), or other shared word; and run the test again
If the number reduces substantially you are hopefully left with the main pages that really represent your firm – that show what potential clients want to form a relationship with
Double-check the remaining pages (but ignore admin pages like Privacy and Ts&Cs, etc.)
Form an opinion as to whether you use 'because' to explain your firm and your services in a relationship-building way; or would some careful rewording make the message friendlier?
If you end up dissatisfied with your findings and uncertain about rewriting your text in a friendlier style to better engage potential clients...
let me invite you to ask about our revitalising service.