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How to Speak the Customerís Language

By: Kevin Nunley

Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copywriting, and promotion packages. See his 10,000 free marketing ideas at Reach Kevin at or 801-328-9006.

Have you ever been to a foreign country where everyone seems to be speaking any language but yours? Well, that's how many people feel when they surf the Internet. Business and technical websites are often so full of jargon that they may as well be speaking a foreign language to their customers.

In order to avoid filling your website with meaningless blather and, let's face it, complete BS, follow these essential guidelines:
  1. 1. Run the "BS Detector," available from, to check for obscure marketing, business and technical speak. It will help you simplify your copy so customers can read it instead of decipher it.

  2. Invite visitors to act. Every page should contain at least one clear call to action, indicating the next step your visitor is supposed to take. You'd be surprised at how many people click away from a site, not because they aren't interested, but because they don't know what to do. If your visitor doesn't know that he/she is supposed to buy, then that is a problem.

  3. Get to the point. Visitors don't come to your site for a little light reading. They scan web pages for the information they want, but they do not read every word carefully. To cut words and make copy more persuasive, use action rather than passive verbs. Example:
    Passive: Jimmy was eating the cookie.
    Active: Jimmy ate the cookie.
  4. Show the visitor you are out to benefit them by using "you" and "your" at least five times more than "we" and "our." Using those words too many times sounds egocentric.

  5. Search engines are your friend, so incorporate a lot of good key words, especially near the top of the page and in the first sentence. Donít waste this space with filler copy.

© 2003

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