You built your website and began your content marketing efforts to help your small business grow. When a visitor comes to your site, you want them to read your content, feel inspired, and take action.
The content on your website — from your web copy, to your business blog — and all your content marketing messaging needs to:
- Help potential clients understand the benefits and applications of your offers
- Dispel misconceptions or preconceived notions
- Position your brand as a trusted authority in your field
However, creating content that resonates with the right people can be difficult, especially if you don’t understand who your audience is. If your content doesn't resonate with the people who need what you offer and visit your website looking for help, it can lead to:
- lower engagement
- poor conversion rates
- wasted resources, and
- missed opportunities for growth
Understanding what your audience cares about or wants to know, first takes time and research. Then, once you've figured that step out, you need to start creating high-quality, engaging, and informative content on a consistent basis, and that can be just as challenging.
Between keyword research, writing, editing, creating graphics or sourcing images, formatting text, SEO optimization, publishing, and finally promoting the content it's a lot more work than you bargained for — at least that’s what I hear from the smart business owners who have hired me.
Maybe by now you’re realized that you can’t just write about whatever strikes your fancy when you sit down at your computer. Instead, you need to be strategic, ensure the focus is on your client's problems (not yourself or your business), and that it relates to where they are in the buyer's journey.
When your content assumes prior knowledge that your readers do not currently have, it can leave them confused and frustrated. It's likely that they won’t understand the message you're trying to convey, leading to misinterpretation or complete disengagement causing them to leave the site entirely.
If you, as a business owner, do not have a clear understanding of your audience's knowledge level and needs when creating your content it won't be effective, which can lead to:
- Loss of potential sales
If visitors don't understand the product, service, or value proposition because the content is too advanced or unclear, they're less likely to convert into paying clients. When they don't understand WHY they need it, or HOW it's relevant right now, they won't act
- Negative Search Ranking Factors
The goal of search engines is to get the right content to the right people. If people don't understand or immediately see the value in your content or how it’s applicable to them, search engines won't either
- Damage to Brand Reputation
Consistently overestimating your audience's knowledge can make you appear elitist or out-of-touch, which can push away potential clients and damage your brand's reputation.
If you want to ensure that your content turns visitors into leads and build an evergreen marketing system for your business, you need to think about WHO you're selling to and what they care about, not what you're in the mood to write, what's easy to write about, or what you can quickly generate with AI content tools.
Your website and content marketing efforts need to educate your website visitors with valuable and helpful content that's always working for you and your business — building authority and trust, resonating deeply with the right people, turning visitors into leads, and freeing up your time from constant hustling for new clients.
Avoid the common mistakes I end up fixing for new clients more often than you might think, and get better results from the content you create and publish:
Not understanding your audience
As a business owner, you need to fully understand your target audience — their needs, preferences, pain points, and behaviours in order to create content that truly resonates.
One way to do this is to create user personas, or a spreadsheet/document that has fields for:
- Desired goals/outcomes
- Questions they may have
You can also do market research, customer surveys, or talk directly with your clients to understand them on a deeper level. Use the knowledge you gain from that research to fill in your personas or spreadsheet.
Forgetting who the website is for
When you're crafting your messaging, keep in mind who the website is for and write copy that speaks to them.
Truth: Your website is not about you — it's about your audience
Many small businesses when writing their marketing copy, whether for their website or their blog, tend to use a lot of “we” or “me” language, focusing more on themselves or their company rather than the client. Unformately, doing this can make the content seem less relatable or relevant to the reader and it typically fails to connect with them.
Think about adjusting the language on your site to focus on more “you”, the customer — your website is for them after all. Your content needs to focus on their wants, their needs, and their goals/challenges.
“we” vs “you” example
“We” Example: We offer top-notch landscaping services using the best quality materials and innovative designs.
“You” Example: Experience the beauty of top-notch landscaping at your home, crafted with the highest quality materials and innovative designs tailored to your preferences.
Not using the words your audience is using
You can’t assume people understand industry-specific terms or jargon. Using language that is not easily understood by potential buyers creates a disconnect and makes them feel excluded or lost, leading to low engagement and failed conversions. It’s never good when someone reading your website needs to google what a word means.
Think about the last time your doctor checked your blood pressure and found it to be a little high. They start talking about hypertension and using medical jargon you don’t understand, and while you try to follow along, you have no idea what that doctor is saying!
Had the doctor just mentioned “high blood pressure” and used more easy-to-understand, plain language, you wouldn't have spent the whole appointment trying to translate medical terms and feeling lost.
The same goes for your website messaging and marketing copy. You want to use the same language that your audience uses when talking about their problems. Not only does this make your content more relatable, but also increases its chances of being found when your audience is searching for solutions online.
To help understand the words and phrases your audience is using, review testimonials, feedback forms, support tickets, or contact inquiries and look at the wording people are using. Write their words down in a spreadsheet or document so you can find them again when you're writing content for your business.
Ignoring Audience Pain Points
When writing content, many people focus on the solution to a problem rather than pain points causing the problem or resulting from the problem. If your website's content fails to address the problems or challenges that your audience is facing, it can feel irrelevant or unhelpful and cause readers to struggle to picture themselves in that situation, which makes it harder to connect the dots and build trust.
Rather than leading with the solution, use your content to highlight their pain points and talk about how those problems can be solved. It's important to acknowledge that a problem exists in order for readers to understand why they need a particular solution and how it could benefit them.
Before: “Our premium cleaning service includes a comprehensive deep clean of your home, using eco-friendly products that are safe for children and pets.”
After: “Tired of spending your precious free time scrubbing and mopping? Our premium cleaning service takes care of the deep cleaning for you. We use eco-friendly products that ensure your home is not only sparkling clean but also safe for your children and pets. Say goodbye to long hours of cleaning and hello to more quality time with your loved ones.”
By making these mistakes, you run the risk of lower engagement, confusion among potential clients, and ultimately lost opportunities for conversions and sales.
By avoiding these mistakes, and focusing your website and marketing content on who you're selling to, the chances of readers connecting with your content (and your brand) skyrockets — leading to more visitors taking action and more money in your pocket.
- Create a living document about your target market
- Review your existing content and ask:
- Is this “Me/We” focused or “You” focused?
- Am I making assumptions or using too much jargon?
- Am I addressing my audiences' pain points? (hint — these are in that document about your target market!)
Every client I work with, when we start working together has made these mistakes. Heck, when I first started doing this, I wasn’t perfect either and I made these mistakes too! But now, my entire focus is helping you avoid all of these mistakes so you get better results for the effort that you’re putting forth.
If you read this and realized you've been making some of these mistakes, reach out and book a call.