One content mistake to avoid like the plague

Are you boring your customers away from your website?

I’ve been attending a number of networking events since last summer, but one event in particular stands out in my mind – and has given me the idea for this blog post.

The event started much like any other, but with one major flaw.  Throughout the networking session, the organiser constantly interrupted the flow of discussions, managing to ruin the evening.

Using a selection of loud noises – including at one stage – shouting at the top of his voice, he paused proceedings several times during the networking evening.

He had one aim in mind; to make us listen to what he had to say about:

  • his business,
  • how he had built up the business,
  • how long it had been running,
  • how much experience he had and where he had gained it,
  • how determined he was to succeed,
  • how he used all the tools at his disposal to move his business forward,
  • how he projected himself in front of his clients,
  • how he dressed etc…

The list was endless.

By the time he interrupted us for the umpteenth time to tell us about the new products and services he was launching, we were all suffering from ‘listening fatigue’.  He had bored the pants off most of us and we weren’t prepared to listen to anything more he had to say.  He’d lost us.

Is your website guilty of the same thing?

Don’t make your website about you, you and you alone

Let me explain what I mean.

Many website owners believe it’s good practice to include all sorts of details about themselves on their business website, making the focus of the site them and them alone.

This could take the form of an extremely long About Us page that really should be renamed: All About Me and My Life.  One example I came across a few years ago mentioned the number of siblings the business owner had and detailed the childbirth challenges his mother faced.

This approach may well work for quirky business sites – but I am struggling to think of a single relevant example.

For most sites, the aim should be to make your website about your customer – or at least 95% about your customer.

Yes, you do need to say who you are and what you do, and to add something that lends weight to what you are saying – for example your experience of working in the sector you cover or exposure to the range of products you are selling.

Is it time you started thinking about launching a personal or hobby blog?

But when preparing such information, remember that it does not mean you should supply a detailed history of how you came to be where you are and every waking thought since that moment – or give a blow by blow account of all the hobbies that have carried you through life.

Such information, would probably work best on a personal or hobby blog.

By all means build your customers’ trust in you by showcasing your skills and personality via your business website or business blog, but don’t drive your customers away to someone else’s website.

Remember that your online business content is a delicate balancing act involving sharing a good mix of information.

But always veer more towards customer-specific copy rather than information of the navel-gazing, it’s-all-about-me kind.

Post written by DEBBIE THOMAS on 15 June 2011.

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