by Steve Phipps

Four Simple Ways to Stop Confusing People with Your Website

May 10, 2019 | Marketing

If your website is failing to produce the leads you need to grow your business, it might be because your customers and prospects are confused. Keep reading to learn how to identify and solve the problem so you can start getting more business from your site.

We talk with small business owners, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs all the time and the common question we hear is, ‘can you help me with my website?’ The most common problem with small business owners is that the website isn’t attracting and converting prospects

If you confuse, you lose!

The headaches you’re having with your website are universal struggles in the world of small business. The good news is that these small business website problems can be fixed so you start seeing better results.

In our last blog post, we offered six ways to get more leads from your website. In this post, we’ll dive into the first of the six steps –  clarify your message.

When we tell people the most important aspect of their marketing is CLARITY, they sometimes look confused. Most business owners think they already have a clear message. But while your words make sense to you, there’s a very good chance they don’t make sense to your prospects and customers. We want to help you stop the confusion and the lost business that results from a lack of clarity.

Step One: Know The Hero

Marketing is really about telling a great story, and every story has a hero. And when it comes to marketing your business, you are not the hero. Read that again and let it sink in because this could be a fundamental shift in your thinking and the first step to growing your business. When you make this shift in roles, you can focus on helping your customers and prospects understand how you help them solve their problems and achieve their goals.

Make Your Customer The Hero Wayfind Marketing
Make sure your customer is the hero of the story.

The first step to creating clear copy for your website is to write everything in the context of your customer being the hero and how your product or service makes their life better. Your brand should serve as the trustworthy and empathetic guide that comes alongside the hero (your customer) and helps them win the day.

By shifting your content to focus on your customer as the hero, they will be much more interested in what you have to say because the story is now about them.

Step Two: Say it Simply

Your website’s homepage is not the place to wax poetic about all the hopes and dreams you have for your company. Instead, keep everything simple and focused on your customer. A great way to tell if you’re on target is to give your website the grunt test. The grunt test is simply this – if a caveman came to your homepage, could he answer these three questions in less than eight seconds:

  1. What do you do?
  2. Why does it matter to me?
  3. What should I do next?

Obviously, your customers aren’t cavemen or cavewomen (if they are, call me because I’d love to hear more about what you do) but you still want them to pass the grunt test. Otherwise, there’s a good chance they’ll go elsewhere.

If you confuse your customer, you will lose them.

Can your website pass the grunt test? If not, you’re probably losing business.

A good litmus test for this may also be to ask a child. If a 10-year-old can read your content and understand what you do, why it matters, and how to take the next step, then you know your message is simple and clear.

Step Three: No Inside Language

Jargon is the kryptonite of clarity. Nothing confuses (and loses) customers faster than a bunch of inside speak that doesn’t make a bit of sense to your customers or prospects. Because you live and breathe your business, it’s very easy to use inside-speak, and you may not even realize that your language is coming across as jargon.

Jargon is the kryptonite of clarity!

Do a double check. Zoom out to the thirty-thousand-foot view and look at your language with a fresh set of eyes. Ask someone who doesn’t know your business to read your copy. Does it make sense to them or are they getting lost in acronyms and phrases that sound like gibberish? The worst thing you can do is assume your prospects understand your words. Always double check.  

Step Four: Tell a Great Story

Great stories take readers through a journey that identifies the main problem, communicates what’s at stake, and provides a way for the hero to conquer their problem to achieve victory. The guide (that’s you) steps in with empathy and a clear plan to help the hero solve problems and win the day. When you use story to communicate, your customers will see themselves as the hero and become much more interested in what you offer.

The bottom line is this: if you confuse your customer you will lose them. If you have to choose between creativity and being clear, always go with being clear. Bells, whistles, and all the creativity in the world won’t work if people are confused about what you do and how it helps them.

Maybe this is the first time you have considered writing in such a way that your customer is the hero of the story. Or perhaps you need an outsider’s perspective on if you’re using too much insider speak. Listen, we don’t want you to lose any more customers. Let’s schedule 30 minutes to talk through your homepage content and learn how you could clarify a few things.

In the meantime, download our free guide to getting more leads from your website. And start clarifying what you do. Stay tuned for our next blog post that unpacks the importance of using great images on your website.

by Steve Phipps

Think Beyond Your Backyard: Digital B2B Marketing for Accountants