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What Romper Room can teach you about creating excellent website content

If you grew up in the ‘70s or ‘80s, you will remember the classic children’s television program, Romper Room. The segment I most looked forward to was the Magic Mirror. I can picture it now: Miss Jane is looking through her magic mirror.

“I see… Sarah, Jack, Sophie, Tom….”

If you’re anything like me you would have been sitting there waiting with bated breath. Hoping. Praying. Please say my name. Pretty please?

When it finally happened I was overjoyed. She could really see me.

The thing is, as adults we are not all that different. We want to be seen. And we want to be acknowledged by whoever is communicating with us. It makes us feel important.

All marketing activities should involve and acknowledge their target audience. So why do so many websites neglect to do that? The Web can be an impersonal medium at the best of times. It’s not like walking into a retail store or approaching a reception area.

Online, there’s no one making eye contact with you or greeting you with a warm smile.

3 ways to show your audience you can see them

1. Let your target audience take centre stage

Remember: it’s not about you, it’s about them. People don’t care about your business, your products or services. They want to know how it will benefit them.

Otherwise it’s simply a big boast.

Last week, I was asked to perform a simple editing job for a client’s website. But it needed more – a lot more. And here’s why.

Nowhere on the website was the firm’s target customer even mentioned. Not once. Every page was about the firm – their awards, their expertise, their team and their projects. It was like they were having a conversation with… themselves!

As a potential customer, I felt ignored. Unimportant. Irrelevant.

This business couldn’t see me through their magic mirror. They weren’t even looking.

So before you tell your audience all about you, ask these important questions.

How will my business, products or service help my customers:

  • Achieve their goals?
  • Solve their problems?
  • Meet their needs?
  • Ease their workload?
  • Increase their income?
  • Alleviate their fears?
  • Make their dreams come true?

Then once you have the answer, tell it to your audience. Place it upfront, where they will see it. (Your homepage is a great start.)

2. Talk to your audience

If you are telling your readers something that applies to them, talk to them. Use ‘you’ and ‘your’ rather than ‘customers’ or ‘clients’.

You can convey serious and important messages – such as legal rules – using ‘you’.

Talking directly to your readers makes your web content more inviting and personal. Your audience is much more likely to keep reading and absorb your messages because they can see themselves in your words.

And they can more easily picture themselves as your customer – even before they are one.

3. Avoid industry jargon

Some words and phrases have a precise meaning specific to a particular industry or organisation. And in many cases, your audience will not know or understand their technical meanings.

Every industry has its jargon…

Industry Example
Superannuation jargonTransition to retirement
Accounting jargonGearing ratio
Legal jargonBeneficial owner
Real estate jargonAgents in conjunction
HR jargonConsequence management
IT jargonBackward-compatible
Copywriting jargonBlind envelope
Marketing jargonUSP

 

Translate your web writing for your readers by removing technical jargon wherever possible.

Unfamiliar words will only make your readers feel ignored and alienated. And once again, unseen. Contrary to what you might believe, long and complex terms on your web pages impress no one.

So have another read of your website now. But this time, look through your magic mirror. Can you see your target customer?

If so, let them know.