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Is your website all about you? How to avoid weeing on your customers

Are you sitting down? Good, because I’m about to say something shocking.

Copywriters don’t care about you.

OK, I’m overdoing it a bit. Obviously, we do care about you but the fact is, we care about your customer more. If you want more business through your website, there should be one magic word all over the content. And what is this magic word?


Are you “weeing” on your customers?

Have a quick look at your own website. How many times do the words “we” or "our" appear? It's probably quite a lot. It's human nature to want to talk about yourself. After all, you’re very good at your job. You need to prove that you know your stuff, right?

Actually, your customer isn’t interested. This is what they want to know:

  • Does this company understand my problem?
  • Can they solve it?
  • What's in it for me?

This is where the word "you" comes in. The trick is to focus on just one person, the individual who's reading your website. What are their main concerns and how can you help them? How can you make their lives easier? Use the language they use. Understand their needs, their likes and dislikes, the obstacles that stand between them and their goals.

In other words, don't start with yourself. Start with your customer. Here, let me give you an example…

Let’s imagine that you live in Brighton and you’re looking for someone to build you a house. Here's a fictional builder talking about himself:

Joe Bloggs Builders – Quality design and build in Brighton

Joe Bloggs Builders offer a high quality design and build service to customers in East Sussex. Our main aim is to deliver the best customer service in the region. We take pride in our ability to deliver to tight deadlines and within our customers’ budgets. We design and build new houses with a commitment to high standards throughout the whole process.

There are lots of builders in East Sussex and you’re about to give one of them a lot of money. Which one do you choose? Joe Bloggs Builders? Probably not.

By and large, people make buying decisions based on emotions. They back up those decisions with logic. I’ll be coming back to logic in a minute but in the meantime, here’s what Joe Bloggs would say if he was talking directly to you, the person who wants to build a house:

Design and build in Brighton - Why you should choose Joe Bloggs Builders

Thinking about building your dream home but don’t know where to start? Do you need a trustworthy builder in East Sussex? Joe Bloggs Builders will make things easy for you by sorting out all your design and build requirements. We’ll provide a personal service throughout the whole process, helping you achieve your dream on time and on budget.

See what I mean? Mr Bloggs has transformed into a builder who cares about you. He understands your problem and he's solved it.

Now, onto the logic.

The importance of testimonials

OK, Joe the builder has our attention. We're almost ready to buy his services, we want to trust him but we need proof that we’ve made the right decision.

Appealing to the emotions isn’t enough on its own. You need to appeal to your customer’s logical side with some hard facts and figures. They want solid proof that you’re trustworthy, you know what you’re doing and you can guarantee a great service. How do you do this without driveling on about yourself and “weeing” all over your site visitor?

Get someone else to say it for you.

Testimonials are powerful. A glowing review from a happy customer has a more positive effect on your visitor than anything you can say about yourself. No one is interested in your awards, qualifications or achievements. They want a word-of-mouth recommendation.

This isn't new. David Ogilvy (of Ogilvy and Mather, one of the original Mad Men ) said this about testimonials back in the 1960s:

Readers find the endorsements of fellow consumers more persuasive than the puffery of anonymous copywriters.”

Well, quite… (This anonymous copywriter is unfeasibly delighted by the word “puffery”, by the way).

The more specific your testimonials are, the better. If you’ve managed to increase your happy customer's sales figures, for example, ask them to give you a percentage. “Our sales have increased by 84%” is a lot more persuasive than “our sales increased”.

And there's no puffery.

Ditch the ego

Forget about yourself. Don't try and sell the features of your business, sell the benefits. You're guaranteed to catch your website visitor's attention by focusing on what interests them most: themselves.

  • Use the second person, "you" and "your" rather than the first person "we" or "our"
  • Tell them what they'll gain, save or achieve by choosing your product or service
  • Don't tell them how great you are. Get previous clients to say it for you

If you’d like some help, feel free to get in touch with me. Yep, me. Here.

Helen Beckingham is an SEO copywriter at Keyword Copywriting. Expert scribbler on websites, blogs and e-books, rather good bassoonist, terrible singer. Contact helen@keywordcopywriting.co.uk or click here