Recently a client questioned the liberal use of the word “you” in the home page I had written for them.
A central tenet of a successful business website is that it is about and for your customers.
Too many businesses use their websites to talk about themselves: We’ve been in business since… We offer innovative business solutions… We have the biggest range of… We offer superior customer service…
These messages do not work. The hard truth is customers are not interested in you. They’re only interested in themselves and their problems.
You can make an immediate connection with your customers and prospects if you communicate that you understand their problems and can help solve them.
Compelling (and valuable) website content is customer-focused. Rather than speaking the language of “we” you need to speak the language of “you”.
You’re trying to build a relationship with another person – to build enough rapport to get them to take the action you want.
They’re more likely to respond if your website is written as a personal communication, instead of a corporate brochure, and orientated to their needs, wants and problems.
Also, the web is a personal marketing channel. Which is another reason why you should write your content in the first person, as if you’re communicating one-to-one.
Finally, using “you” a lot helps improve readability:
“…the word that is most important… is ‘You’. This was discovered by an American researcher called Rudolf Flesch, working 50 or 60 years ago on what makes writing easy to read.
He learned that if you wish people to read what you write, then the words ‘you’, ‘your’ and variations like ‘yours’ and ‘yourself’ should appear twice and preferably three times as often as words like me’, ‘I’, ‘our’, ‘we’ and the like.”
How to Write Sales Letters that Sell, Drayton Bird
Future Now have built a We We Monitor which calculates the customer focus of web pages.