One of the things that many organisations fall into the trap of when they write their own web site is to start with the phrase ‘Welcome to our web site’.
While we appreciate the intent and sentiment that is meant, that can often lead an organisation to view their web site as somehow separate to the organisation itself, rather than as most of their web site visitors feel – an extension of their business.
Your web site – to most people – is your organisation. When they come to your web site, either directly or indirectly, and they read about what you are doing and why you are doing it, they don’t feel like they are on your web site. They feel like they are engaging with your company. They feel like they are looking at what you do. They feel like they are conversing with you.
Customers don’t make the differentiation between an organisation and its web site. When they go onto the web site of the National Australia Bank, they feel like they are talking to the bank.
We coach many web writers to remove the words ‘Welcome to our web site’ from their vocabulary. In the same way that you would never write a front cover for a sales brochure with the words ‘Welcome to our sales brochure’.
People know it’s a web site. They’re on the web.
What should you write instead? Where a company wants to welcome people to their space on the web, we often write ‘welcome to our company or organisation’ or, better still, make a statement that makes them feel welcome. That reaches out to them. That embraces them. That works far, far better.
Write a site that puts the customers squarely in the picture, where they feel like they belong already. Produce video that reinforces their need for your product or service, and tell the story of those who are happy they’re linked with you.
Welcome them to that.