Commercial Agents - using words to pull in your audience
27 September, 2011 | Web design
In our journey into the online world of commercial property, we are identifying the common mistakes and blunders that commercial agents and chartered surveyors make with websites. Our hope, that with a little knowledge you will be able to develop an effective website that really delivers results for your commercial property practice.
So far we have looked at how best to use photography on your website and the importance of visual design. This week it’s the words.
- Give The Words a Chance
If you’ve got the visual elements of your website right, the visitors won’t immediately leave. Congratulations, you’ve bought yourself some more time…but not much. It’s now how you use those words to build on what the visual elements of your website have achieved.
So what are you saying and how are you going to say it?
You’ve managed to impress within 3 seconds, but now you need to convey, through words, what it is that you do and in which unique way you do it.
- You’re Saying Too Much.
Some commercial property agents and chartered surveyors really feel the need to labour the point. Commercial Vendors, Landlords and Developers are trying to get a sense of what your company is about. Yes its important to list your skills set, but try not to go into too much detail.
Give enough to establish knowledge and expertise. The aim is to ignite a flame of confidence that will encourage the clients to get in contact with you and start a dialogue. So look for the hooks.
- You’re not saying enough
Then again, we have the commercial agents who are saying nothing at all. The clearest example of this is the commercial agents with a four page website filled with generic commercial property speak and a standard list of services.
This does nothing to establish some level of difference to the numerous other commercial agents and chartered surveyors that they compete against and makes no attempt to engage with their audience in any sort of personal way.
But then there are chartered surveyors who go on and on, but never actually say anything at all.
- Its Different On The Web
The well-educated Chartered Surveyor that you are, you may well be an accomplished essayist, skilled at delivering lengthy prose. Unfortunately this will not serve you well online.
Writing for the web is very different from writing for print. The main reason is that we don’t actually read on the web but in fact scan the page.
Online readers behaviour in an extremely impatient and unfocused way, jumping around your website page, scanning headings, subheadings as well as looking for keywords and hyperlinks. While they do this, their cursor will never be far from the browsers (Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, Safari etc.) ‘Back’ arrow.
If something engages the reader’s eye, then they’ll read in more detail.
- Put Yourself In The Readers Position
As with everything website based, it’s the perspective that is paramount. Consider their behaviour, their circumstances – we know that all web users are impatient, but commercial property users will invariably be busy, looking for quick answers. Make it easy for them.
- Its All About Structure
The structure and layout of your text will have a huge influence over whether you can successfully engage with your audience on the web or whether they’ll just get bored and navigate away.
Never use huge, long rambling paragraphs of text. Try to right in more of a report style, making good use of:
Breaking your text up this way will help catch the readers’ eye and make it easier for them to find what they are looking for.
- Or Perhaps Just Get A Professional In
Then again it might be prudent to recognise what you’re good at. You are an expert on commercial property, stick to that. Convey your knowledge and what you want to say to an expert wordsmith. A Good web design agency will either have someone in house or can put you in contact with an expert web writer, who can help you.
Philip Burrows, Marketing Consultant