Don’t you love the web? Don’t you love sitting by a warm fire with the web? Wouldn’t you like to have babies with it? Sometimes, I want to divorce the web.

Actually, I want to divorce a lot of the copywriters on the web. Take the example below…please.

Let’s hear it for self interest!

COPY EXAMPLE: “We understand how content, services, and user interface interact to produce uniquely powerful results for…

I know that the person who wrote the example copy does not hate the web or mean it harm. They hoped this was scintillating copy. It isn’t.

You and I, as seekers of information and shiny objects, don’t really care what a business “understands” about the world. What do we care about? [All together]


That’s not as evil as the ALL-CAPS would imply. Humans are largely self-interested creatures. That’s OK; we’re still good mammals.

Give ’em what they come here fer
When you speak to a web audience, you need to think and write about what customers come looking for. They came looking for something to make their lives better (information, products, entertainment, etc.).

So, let’s not start sales copy by telling potential customers what we know or understand. Let’s show them by speaking directly to their wants and needs.

Jargon is for people who hate their mothers
We understand how content, services, and user interface interact to produce uniquely powerful results for…

Potential customers might or might not know what “user interface” really means. They might think they do. Even if they do, how sexy is that terminology? Does it make you breathless with a desire to click their contact link?

Why use jargon? It doesn’t really sound smarter. It isn’t clear and concise. Why do you hate your customers?

A mutual or reciprocal action
We understand how content, services, and user interface interact to produce uniquely powerful results for…

The use of the word “interact” in this context is meaningless. How does it help you that someone you don’t know understands the interaction between things you’re not even sure you need?

And, really…I think Superman and Wonder Woman are the only ones capable of uniquely powerful results. If I hired this company, they’re lucky that I probably wouldn’t remember later that I was supposed to get uniquely powerful results. Although if I did remember, and they didn’t live up to this hyperbole, I would be uniquely unhappy.

Flaccid optimization
I’ll just mention briefly that this copy is from a home page and there is nothing in the quoted phrase above that optimizes the page for the search engines. And believe it or not, this is the copy on their HOME page that is supposed to draw readers to their top-line services.

Well, would you?
If the example above were the description beneath the company’s link on a search results page, would you click the link? What could we do to improve this one little sentence (with a view towards improving the odds that customers would click through)?

This company touts their use of data driven design. If this were the one feature most attractive to their customer base (which I hope they’ve researched), let’s rewrite the copy to read like this:

“Is your web site doing all it can for you? It will when we get done with it. Call us for a FREE consultation on how data-driven design drives traffic to your site.”

If this text appeared beneath the company’s link on Google, that’s a link I would click. It has text I understand and something (data-driven design) that makes me curious.

Most importantly-it puts benefits before features.

Source by Brian V. Hunt

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