Improve Your Website Quick – Change Corporate Speak to Customer Speak


Many small- to medium-sized businesses make the mistake of using corporate speak on their websites instead of speaking to the needs of their customers.

What’s corporate speak? Technical words that only a highly educated person in a certain specialty would understand or catch phrases like “accelerate high maturity behaviors” instead of just saying “be more efficient” and “contextualize opportunities” instead of just writing “explain our options.”

This method is especially dangerous if you’re marketing to consumers or other small businesses online. You might see that people stay on the page for a while, but it’s mostly because they’re scratching their heads wondering what in the world you’re talking about!

If you want to improve your website, get rid of the corporate speak and jargon. In this fast and furious new world, people want you to speak to them in plain language. Skip the fancy stuff.

To be honest, it’s not even a good content strategy for a large Fortune 500 firm, but most still do it anyway. Large corporations know that their reputation will likely overcome any language barrier when it comes to selling online.

But as a small- to medium-sized business owner you don’t always have that type of a reputation to fall back on. If you think you might be using corporate speak or other language on your website that isn’t quite getting through to your customers, here’s what you can do about it starting today:

1. Take a look over your current web page content. After you look it over, have someone you know, such as a colleague who could be a member of your target audience, look it over as well. Another option is to host a brief online focus group (offer an incentive) where you display the site to members of your target audience along with an online survey.

2. Take a snapshot of your current web statistics. Focus on four main statistics from your current web traffic reports – the amount of time that visitors spend on your website total, the amount of time they spend on each specific page, the conversion percentage (number of new customers per 100 unique visitors) and the overall bounce rate. The bounce rate is the rate at which people click into your website then click right back out without checking out your other pages.

3. Review your marketing plan to better understand your target audience and how to speak to them. Your marketing plan should outline everything from the age, income and educational level of your target audience to their motivations when making a buying decision. Figure out what they want so that you can deliver the right message.

4. Update your web pages with your target audience in mind. Take out the corporate speak or technical jargon and speak to the needs of your potential customers. Say what they want to hear — not what you want to write.

5. Allow the new web content to run over the course of a week or a month. Then again, check how long people stay on the website, each page of the site, conversion rates and the bounce rate. If you see an improvement then hey, you’ve got something here!

6. Rinse and repeat if necessary. If you don’t see a significant improvement, start from step three again and repeat the process. You might even have to re-evaluate your marketing plan to make sure it’s just right.

7. Be patient. When you’re trying to improve your website by crafting effective web content that speaks to your customers, you have might have to go through a little trial and error. Patience is key – it could take weeks or even months to start seeing a significant difference. But anything is better than boring corporate speak and overdone technical jargon that scrambles the message that you’re trying to get across to potential customers.

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