Business Writing 2019-04-02 00:00

Are You Talking at Your Customers or Speaking to Them?


In the old days of creating content, the guidelines were all about your business. Tell potential customers about your service or product, explain your business's story on an About Us page, and toot your own horn. Search queries on the internet were based on keywords and content emphasized those keywords.

If you are still thinking this way about business content, it’s time to rethink. That old way is talking at customers. It is inefficient and can turn away the very prospects you are trying to acquire.

You must give potential customers the information they want. Aspects of technical search engine optimization (SEO) can help boost online visibility, but starting with the right content basics helps you connect with customers.

  1. Empathy and Language
  2. Speak Your Customers' Language
  3. Answer Questions One at a Time
  4. Format for Readability and Quick Access
  5. The Way to Customer Understanding

Empathy and Language

In today’s internet environment, how you speak to customers in your content is the key to connection and engagement. A strong signal leads to customers seeing you as a trustworthy expert. This is almost the reverse of the old way. The focus is the customer, the one who is there right now on your website.

Empathy with your customers' situation is your strongest selling point. Show your customers you understand their needs. Then illustrate how your business meets those needs.

Speak Your Customers' Language

Know your customers. Where do they hang out both online and offline? What do they buy? You need to know how your business content presents a solution to their problems. To convey that solution effectively, you need to speak (write) in their language.

Bedazzling a potential customer with industry jargon, or worse yet, jargon you've invented for secret insiders doesn't work in the new world of searches. You can be as brilliant as you like, but not while speaking with customers. You want to use the same language they use when they are searching for what you have. If you are a plastic surgeon and talk about "rhinoplasty," your potential patient will not find you. They are looking for a "nose job."

Answer Questions One at a Time

Create your website content—page or article—focused on one solution at a time. Customer focus translates into isolated events and relevance among the events. Your customer is looking for an answer. Your page provides the answer. Keep it focused on the one solution.

When your product or service is multifaceted with multiple solutions, create a distinct page for each solution. Search engines will understand the relevance to a query and your page visitor will find the answer they need. The multiple focal points are clear and relevant to search queries.

The old way of listing all the best points of your product or service on one page is too generic. A point-by-point focus brings customers to the intersection where your business matches their specific need.

Format for Readability and Quick Access

Once your potential customer arrives on your page, make sure your answer is easy to skim.

  • Break text into short paragraphs.
  • Write short sentences.
  • Use headers as signposts to let them know what each section is about.
  • Use bullet points to detail benefits.
  • Summarize at the end.

Aim your content to lead the customer to the conclusion that your business is the right choice for their current need. The summary highlights the reason your business is the solution and adds a call to action (CTA) to buy the product/service or get more information.

The Way to Customer Understanding

Clear and focused writing will help your business connect with customers to satisfy a specific need. You'll establish experience, authority, and trust that pulls site visitors to your business.

Use ProWritingAid to put a final polish on your text. Check for grammar, spelling, readability, and other text elements to create clear prose that speaks to customers.

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.