A Little Ditty ‘bout Joe and Joanne…

A Little Ditty ‘bout Joe and Joanne…

Category: Web Design

With apologies to those of you of a certain age for paraphrasing John Cougar Mellencamp but stick with me because there is a point to it. I think that everyone these days knows that relevant content is very important when creating a website, especially if it is a website that is selling something (and let’s face it, even info-websites are selling information).

But when you are asked to create content for a new site, what is the first thing that you think of? If you are like most people who have never done this before, you start to think about what you do, what you sell, what you want people to think of you…you start to think about you and you start to generate text and content that tells everyone who reads it how great you are and how wonderful your products and/or services are.

That is the last thing you need to be writing about.

Think about it: when you go to a party do you seek out the guy and (it usually is a guy…) in the kitchen that is telling you about all his achievements; that he just spent 3 years working in the Amazon (not the warehouse) teaching native people how to conserve the rainforest whilst creating a cure for cancer and managing diplomatic relations between Trump and Putin? Really? Aren’t people who only talk about themselves bores?

Why be a bore on your website.

So, back to Joe and Joanne. The first thing we would ask you to do when we create your website is describe to us in detail who Joe and Joanne are: for a start they are your perfect customer so you should know them intimately. You should know their ages, where they are, what they read, what they believe in, what their core values are…the really important stuff that you know about your closest friends in other words.

From that description we can start to build pages with content and imagery that speaks to Joe and Joanne; we can tweak the content that you provide us (which is usually product and service focussed) into language that connects with Joe and Joanne from their viewpoint, not yours; we can build a journey for Joe and Joanne through your website that ends up with that magic click: Buy Now, Find Out More, Subscribe…whatever.

Of course there are more than one Joe and Joanne – most companies provide products and services that are suitable for more than one small subset of the population. So there will be several Joe’s and Joanne’s and, ideally, they will have their very own parts of your site that speak to them (we call them landing pages in the trade) and that lead them into their own journey.

Here is a simple little exercise to test how close you are to Joe and Joanne on your website: go through the pages and count the number of “we” versus the number of “you”. If it is 90/10, or even 60/40, you have communication issues with Joe and Joanne and your website speaks to no-one apart from you and your staff.

It could be called a dead site in fact.

“Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone” - John Cougar Mellencamp, American Fool, 1982

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About The Author

After 33 years of running my own IT businesses, I've seen trends come, go...and come back again. With each business I've been involved in, the focus has always been on building in value for my customers. I was honoured to receive an OBE for my services to Scottish business in 2018.

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