Karon Thackston, an SEO copywriting expert, wrote a very helpful article in High Rankings Advisor about customer-focused copy. [Update: that website has been lost to antiquity.]
Customer-focused copy won’t help or hinder your rankings in the search engines, but SEO is not really, in the ultimate sense, about rankings. It’s about sales — selling your products or services.
Getting high rankings can bringing tons of visitors to your site, But that’s useless if the content on your site drives visitors away before you have a chance to sell them what you do or sell.
Customer-focused copy is all about conversions: engaging your visitors so they convert from visitors to customers, clients, or patients. Karon writes:
I am literally shocked that — after decades of marketing evangelists preaching “It’s not about you!” — website owners still don’t get it. What’s not to understand? Copy that focuses strictly on your company and practically or completely ignores your prospects doesn’t work nearly as well as copy that speaks to your target customers in their language and about the benefits they will receive.
Karon provides a couple of revealing before-and-after examples and introduces us to a Customer Focus Calculator. This is a neat tool that will reveal how customer-focused (or YOU-focused) a page on your web site is, compared to how self-focused (or ME-focused) it is.
One of our clients has a site which I’ve advised him seems too ME-focused. I ran his home page through the Customer Focus Calculator and he got a score of 83% self-focused and 17% customer-focused. Then, with my fingers crossed for luck, I checked the Rank Magic blog. Whew! We scored 70% customer-focus and 30% self-focus.