Website copy: you are not your audience

Vanessa Green
February 21, 2021

Ugh, website copy. Most business owners wince at the phrase. ‘How the hell do we write about ourselves?’ But there, as our old bard friend loves to say, is the rub.

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This might be a shocking revelation, but your website copy should not actually involve you just writing about your company.  

Sure, the copy needs to reference your products or services in some way. But the copy really isn’t about you.

You should actually be writing FOR someone else: your customer.

There are so many websites that have wishy-washy copy on their homepage that doesn’t really say much but vaguely gestures to a collection of products or services the company sells.

And most of the time, it’s not effective.

It’s old hat by now, but we all know that no one cares about your products or services. All they care about is how you can help them. Which is why it’s so critical to reframe the way you see your company homepage and website copy in general.

None of it is really about your company, your products, or your services.

Here’s the golden rule:

Every piece of copy should be benefit-led – not feature-led.  

This old school Apple ad is probably the most famous illustration of this idea:


Damn, those evil geniuses at Apple have done it again!

When creating content, you need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. All the damn time.

What would THEY care about?

How does what you’re selling benefit THEM?

Do they care that your product ‘uses the latest cutting-edge technology’ or are they more interested that it ‘doubles user productivity’?

This is one of the reasons customer research – and really knowing your target audience - is so critical. It’s impossible to know what benefits they care about if you don’t know their pain points. Or their objectives. Or why they need your product or service in the first place.

I know that my writing is weakest when I do not know my client’s target market. If I don’t understand WHY their customers buy from them, I have to start making assumptions.

And we all know how that goes.

The whole website writing exercise gets turned on its head when you stop thinking of website copy as, ‘How do we write about ourselves,’ and start asking yourself, ‘How do we communicate how we add value?’.

So how do you get started?

  • Interview your customers and create buyer persona profiles
  • Get Google Business reviews to learn about why your customers like working with you – and how you help them do their job more effectively
  • Create a buyer journey for each stage of the decision-making process and create content – aimed at your audience – to meet them where they are

Once you have this information, take a look at your website copy again and see if it matches with your customer feedback. If it doesn’t – re-write it. And buyer behaviour will change over time, so review this copy every six months to see if it’s still fit for purpose.

If you need help writing killer copy for your website, get in touch to see how we can help.

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