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The one word you shouldn’t use (as much) on your website

Most marketers should revisit their web copy with a big red pen. Some of the largest brands and well-respected companies make a common mistake in their website messaging: they use the word “We” far too often.

“We have the largest group of certified experts”…“We won 20 awards last year for our amazing work,”…”We, We, We…” It’s the number one word that copywriters, business bloggers and marketers need to redline from your content whenever possible.

And it’s so easy to fix! Instead of talking about “We,” think about editing your content into customer-focused copy. How can you edit a simple sentence into a statement that identifies your customer’s problem and addresses their needs. Web marketers need to be particularly aware of this because if your online copy doesn’t speak to your customers, potential customers will bounce right off your website and on right on to your competitor’s.

Here’s how to rethink “We” focused marketing content:

  1. Evaluate your current web copy. It’s always humbling to take constructive criticism, but it’s well worth the exercise. Future Now’s “We We Text” calculator is a great resource that will score your copywriting for customer-focused content vs. sentences that are focused on you and your company.

  2. Replace “We” with “You.” Customer-focused content discusses a problem and how a product or service will fill a customer’s need. Rather than filling a web page with information on the features of what you provide, starting thinking about your customer’s problems and what benefits you can offer. Try to edit as many sentences as possible by getting rid of “we do this” and replacing it with more sentences that contain the word “you” or “your” with a message the truly speaks to the customer’s interests.

  3. Know your customer. To write truly customer-focused web content, explore the concept of buyer personas and persuasion architecture. “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark” by Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg is an excellent tutorial on understanding the various modes of behaviors your web visitors are in when they’re making buying decisions. The way you address their unique needs with online content will help move them through your sales funnel.

To learn more about buying personas and customer-focused copy, check out Mahoney Internet Marketing’s blog on Internet Marketing best practices or the FutureNow Resource Center. Need help wielding that big red pen? Contact me to discuss your copyediting or online marketing best practices.


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