Does your Web site talk the way your customers think?

speech bubble badge to get people talking and thinking

We’ve all seen the Web sites that read like a jargon competition. You know, sites with paragraphs like:

Our company provides enterprise-wide, real-time  software solutions that deliver sustainable ROI through non-disruptive business transformation. These solutions are used by 1,000 clients, including more than 75 of the world’s top 100 banks, to deliver control to the business lifecycle. Using our range of software solutions, clients can tackle barriers and create more efficient, customer-focused, cost-effective, compliant operations.

You’d never do this, right? RIGHT?

And yet I took this example from a real live Web site — and I had dozens of similar quotes to choose from — so SOMEBODY’s doing it. (And, honestly, I think OUR first Web site read something like that, too).

If your Web site IS full of content like this, you’re hurting yourself more than you know.

So, yeah, you’re confusing the heck out of your prospective clients — they’re coming to your Web site, they’re reading your Web site and they have NO idea whether they want or need what you’re selling. That’s a problem for sure. But, worse, you’re keeping your prospective clients from ever finding out about you in the first place.

I can guarantee you that nobody in the history of the Internet has EVER done a search for “real-time software solutions that deliver sustainable ROI through non-disruptive business transformation” (except maybe me, now, looking for anti-examples to use). And that means that when people ARE searching for things that you offer, using words that reflect the ways that they DO think about your products or services,  there’s a good chance they’re not finding you on the major search engines.

That’s bad. And it gets worse.

When you decide that you’re not getting enough traffic from normal, organic search engine results – -the traffic you’re not getting because you’re not showing up in results — and you decide to start advertising with, say, Google AdWords, you’re going to end up paying more for each click. That’s because Google takes into account two things when they decide which ads to place next to which search results: the dollar amount of your bid for the keywords selected AND the relevance of your landing page to those keywords.

So, if your competitors’ content is more relevant to someone’s search keywords you’re going to have to pay more to get the ad placements that they’ll get.

It’s a vicious circle — you get less traffic, you pay more for the traffic that you do get and then that traffic converts poorly because people don’t understand your offering. But you can turn that around and save your online marketing budget form oblivion simply by making your Web site talk like your customers think.