Why Nobody Reads Your Site, (Not Even Your Mom)

by Jack Price

You slaved over your site.

You tried to include everything a prospect could possibly need to know.

Then you’re talking to your mom on Sunday night (even though she called in the middle of the ball game).

Mom asks about your business. You begin to tell her about some changes you made to your website, and you try to explain why you made the changes.

She asks a few questions and makes an off-the-wall comment. Suddenly you realize:

She’s never read my website!

If your website copywriting doesn’t inspire your own mom . . . now what?

Why your site doesn’t inspire your mom (or anyone else)

If your site is all about you, it won’t inspire your customers or employees. It won’t even inspire your mom.

To inspire your readers, your site needs to be about them. Your copywriting needs to communicate your vision of how their lives can be a little better in some way. Then it needs to let them know how you can make it happen.

Your company website is the hub of your business message. If the copywriting is uninspiring, it can be fixed.

1. Fix your About page

“You’re so vain. You prob’ly think this song is about you,” sang Carly Simon about a self-absorbed lover.

Surprisingly, no one clicks your About page to read about you. They click to find out whether you know how to help them. Explain that to them, and leave off the fact that you were valedictorian of Slippery Rock High School.

2. Fix your Services page

You provide a list of thing you know how to do, so they can choose one from column A and one from column B. But people don’t choose services; they choose people.

Instead, show how each service works in real life, for a real person. Connect the dots so they understand how it makes their lives better.

3. Fix your Products page

Maybe you go into great detail to describe your products, borrowing language you found on the website of your professional association to give you credibility. It might, except that nobody reads it.

In the novel Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut’s character (an inventor) says that anyone who can’t explain what he’s doing to a six-year-old is a fraud. That’s a pretty good standard for website copywriting.

If you need to give excruciating detail for people who are really-really smart, (like your fellow engineers), put the details in a separate place they can click to optionally.

4. Fix your Case Studies

You did it again! Even your case studies are about how wonderful you are. I can see you now, standing slightly sideways, fists on hips, cape flapping in the breeze, ready to leap over tall buildings in a single bound.

The purpose of a case study is to help your clients see themselves in the role of your customer.

Make it a story about how the subject client had a weakness or a need. You showed up and helped them understand how to solve it. The client solved it—with your help—and now things are rosy. For the client.

5. Fix your Company page

Ah, your one shot to make it all about you, right? Wrong! Nobody is impressed with your tall, shiny building.

Make it about why your company exists. Is it to make money? No, that’s a result. What inspires you (and your team) to get out of bed every morning and work all day? That’s what your Company page is about.

Are you starting to see a pattern here?

No? Then here’s an example: a famous blog article by Jon Morrow that went insanely viral. It clearly depicts his heroic qualities, (we copywriters know that Jon is the real Superman). Jon describes how he developed his copywriting skills and lists some of his accomplishments.

But it’s not really about him. It’s not even about his Mom, who figures prominently in the post. It’s about me, his reader and pupil, and why I’m sitting here, writing this post on Saturday morning, with a cat napping on my lap.

It’s about tapping into the inspiration behind the work we do.

Can you afford the price of manipulation?

In the most recent post, I talked about the pitfalls of the all-too-common techniques of manipulation. Manipulation works. Quick money is nice, and sometimes you need money now.

While there’s nothing morally wrong with manipulation, it comes with a price tag: loss of trust. And loss of trust is a very bad thing for the long range health of your business.

You have to ask yourself: Why would you want to spend your life manipulating people?

The inspiration behind your business

If you have gotten this far in this post, it means you are agonizing about your business. It means that you are not a fast-buck artist. You want long range success, not quick gimmicks.

There is hope for you.

I urge you to soul-search. Spend some time staring off into space. Ask yourself the right questions:

How can life be a little better for those whom you serve?

How do you make that happen for them?

If you can’t nail it right away, it just means you have some work to do. Nobody said this was going to be easy.

The world needs entrepreneurs

There will always be those who are willing to function as cogs in somebody else’s machine. That’s not you.

There will always be those who are willing to manipulate to make a buck. Don’t let your business get hooked on the addictive drug of manipulation.

What the world needs now is people who are willing to do the hard work of bringing something new into existence, or at least bring something old into existence in a new way. Entrepreneurs are born to do that hard work.

But without your inspiring message, your work will never make it to market in a big enough way. You may build it, but that doesn’t mean they will come.

Find your message. It’s hard work, mentally and emotionally, so be prepared to exert yourself. It will be worth your time and your effort.

If you need help, get help. But get it done.

The world is counting on you.

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