Writing for Specific Customers
When a business has customers that come from several target markets, content directed toward each market segment helps site visitors find the place that suits their specific needs. When you work with the web designer to guide them through their concerns to get the answers they need, customers know you understand them.
Targeted content for specific customer segments helps shorten the time to conversion.
How To Implement Target Segmentation
I had a request for website content from a local service provider in California, Jeff Bond of Inspect.Net, a home inspection service. The original request was for 5-7 pages. After several conversations, we decided to make information as specific as possible for each type of customer. The service provides home inspections (surveys) that identify the strengths and weaknesses of real property.
The inspection report aids in property valuation, provides bargaining points in negotiation, helps sellers establish correct market pricing, and reassures buyers of purchase quality.
The goal was to keep retirees from wading through real estate investment needs or first time home sellers from getting bogged down with the concerns of luxury home sellers.
Together we created a website that targeted customers at every stage of the site visit according to personal needs.
Design the Site to Lead Customers Where They Need to Be
We kept the menu simple so visitors will quickly identify where to find the information that fits their current situation.
The image reflects the service provider using Google Glass to capture findings as he walks through the property from foundation to roof.
The home page provides basic information about the business. Immediately below, the site visitor is invited to choose a next step:
- More information about inspections
- More about the service provider
- And, oh, yes, a call to action
Further down the home page, the visitor is invited to select the type of inspection that suits their current need.
Customer testimonials stream below.
The property type leads to a page that details the specific type of inspection and addresses the focus and concerns of that type of property.
For any business the difference that makes a difference is key to standing out from competitors. From the beginning of our conversations, I suggested a section “cool stuff Jeff does.” Jeff came up with 10 examples of various representative aspects of home inspections using real life findings from past work. He called them 101’s. Site visitors can click on the images for findings, how they impact the property, and suggested remediation.
Structure, Roofing, Exterior, Electrical, HVAC,
Insulation, Plumbing, Interior, Fireplace, Appliances
Segmenting the Customers
We started with the customer segments of the business.
- Commercial Brokers
For each segment we broke out individual target situations. Site visitors can easily identify their personal buyer stage and continue on to content that addresses their specific needs.
For buyers we targeted six main groups and created a unique page for each group.
The subpage calls the visitor to identify their personal situation.
Once they click on their identifier, they arrive at a page that addresses their unique concerns. This example is the Relocation Buyer. We kept text concise addressing the specific needs of families who need a home in a new neighborhood, town, state, or country. Pricing (by property size) and the call to action Book Now are directly below.
For each identified target market we replicated the process. Each page addresses specific concerns, illustrates the solution provided by the business, and calls the visitor to action.
Semantic Writing, The Business, and The Customer
In many ways, this project was the semantic writer’s dream. I worked closely with the business owner who also designed the website.
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Once, we had thought through the structure of the website, then I was able to write each page keeping in mind the four basics of semantic writing:
- Natural language for reader comprehension
- Context related to the business
- Readability related to target market sophistication (normally between grade levels 6-12)
- Entity clarification to distinguish the business from all other businesses in the same category (bakeries, motor shops, travel service, etc.)
The language is conversational and factual, with a very light sprinkling of emotional context. People buy on emotions, so even in basic “factual” pages a bit of emotional targeting helps site visitors click the call to action button.
The project goal was to make information readily available to market segments, to optimize the user experience to guide them directly to pertinent information that matches the visitor’s current situation, and to clarify and differentiate the business.
The Right Content for the Right Customer
Due to the segment targeting, the original 5-7 pages expanded to over 40 pages. Each page
- addresses a specific customer segment
- contains factual text with emotional buy signals
- has a call to action
The amount of content on each page is brief but targeted to a specific customer segment. Rather than attempting to cram a lot of information on several pages, we designed the site to lead each visitor to the content that met their needs. Because of this differentiation, no site visitor needs to wade through content, however informative it might be, that does not pertain to their individual need: the type of inspection required and the type of customer they are.
The blogs are between 300 and 500 hundred words written in the same style. Each article mirrors the business style of specific image illustrations accompanied by straightforward, easily readable text without industry jargon. Each blog combines two elements
- illustrative findings of structural or system issues
- related importance to the customer--health, safety, wealth conservation, etc.--illustrating the significance of the finding
Three days after the website went live, the numbers validated the design process:
- 30 Visitors
- 9 Shares
- Bounce rate 48%
- Pages/sessions 2.98 per visit
- Session duration = 3:18 minutes
- 13% of visitors placed a service order
- four new customers in three days.
Semantic writing involves understanding the business and the customer base. This project is an example of how they intertwine.
Please leave your thoughts, comments, and questions in the comments below.