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Can you make people feel a certain way when they visit your site?

To what extent can you direct sales by using what visitors find when they enter your site?

These are fundamental questions every web developer, copywriter, or entrepreneur considers when writing site copy - but there’s a detailed level of contemplation here that most miss.

While you can’t force people to buy your offer, you can prime them to be as ready as they’ll ever be to buy it.

Inbound Marketing governs how we treat clients, and modern site presentation governs how we advertise ourselves to them.

The zen of web design-or web copy, wherever this element falls into the overall design-is the realisation that, while you can’t force people to feel a certain way about buying from you, you can absolutely govern how they won’t feel about you.

global web content design

Design Zen Illustration by tubik.arts

That might sound disingenuous or trivial, but it’s an all-important consideration for experienced developers. Ask any ranking IT support outfit like EC-MSP, and they’ll tell you about the disconnect between what people assume and the realities of digital life.

In fact, IT support is a field often misconstrued by clients who imagine a huge expense or other downsides for IT issue resolutions, when the real solution is often simple, low cost, and done in minutes. This is a classic case where customers carry their own expectations and preconceived ideas, and it’s with such notions that the zen of web content and design is concerned.

You can’t know how many sales are lost because of such preconceived expectations, but you certainly can limit that number by how you anticipate and speak to your prospective customers.

What global really means for web content and design

Starting with blunt realities, are all your customers white? Or black? Or Asian?

Are they all Hindu, Christian, or Muslim? Is your copy geared towards men, women, or others? Are you offending one or the other with your tone and content?

Because if you are alienating any one of the thousands of different demographics imaginable - yet would like everyone to be your customer - then you’re too busy limiting sales.

What you say online matters: avoid divisiveness

Users themselves have an ethos, and social media is currently wading through the end of its honeymoon, being forced to apply censorship at times for the greater good. All online content producers, commercial or otherwise, can understand from such user sentiment and social media happenings that what you say online matters.

This can mean more or less sales, but the wise want all sales, and they avoid potentially divisive comments or tone in their web copy.

One of the great joys of having an online presence is that you get to give people the information they need while eliminating anything that might offend, limit sales, or even steer prospective clients towards your competitors.

It’s a space of all good and no bad; nowhere else can a company put its best foot forward like the online arena - so don’t blow it!

Control public perception of your brand

Ensuring control over how people won’t feel about you when they encounter you online is a Zen skill; it’s identified by the absence of failure, by an omission, rather than any proactive push of people towards feeling this way or that way. It’s subtle, yet crucial for brands who wish to have a global reach.

Make sure everything users need to understand and feel is there, and make just as sure that potentially jarring or offensive content, tone or assumption isn’t.

Most modern businesses online understand how to avoid glaring social errors when talking to (potentially) everyone, yet it’s just as true that this is a product of politeness, not a careful consideration of how each sentence in the web copy guides users on what isn’t there than what is.

In other words, savvy web copy eliminates potential reasons for people to dislike you.

That’s not insecurity - when online, it’s essential.

Ensure your content is understood across borders

When you’re speaking to a global audience, it’s not the time to use local humour or male or female pronouns excessively. Online content needs to escape the potential for alienating any potential sector as a customer base.

In a real sense, the best copy is copy everyone can understand. Rather than limiting creativity, it takes extreme dexterity and creativity to speak eloquently to all.

Mix in your industry jargon by all means-your clients will likely be within or actively shop within your industry - but if your copy can present your offer in exciting yet understandable terms to anyone, without encountering a bias that can hit religious, racial or gender nerves, you’re halfway there.

Outsource your web copy and design to freelance creatives

This is why the best content and web design isn’t written or produced by the people in the company, but rather by the copywriters, designers, and the truly cosmopolitan others who have a handle on global life, and an ability to speak to it effectively.

Company in-house staff - all the way up to the CEO - are likely wholly invested in their company and its realities. Comparatively, when online you need to invest in people and their realities, and find an emotionally intelligent way to marry yourself into them as a solution.

Businesses are still selling feelings, not things.

web content design

CALM by Titan Muhammad

The best copy tells you all about the company offer by telling you about yourself, not what the company sells.

Even if you’re local, speak global

Perhaps you’re selling to a very local market, or a national market only, and you feel you need to tailor your web content and design to that niche only?

That’s perfectly fine, but it’s still best executed by being easily understood and accessible anywhere in the world.

Meet user expectations: avoid negative content and web design

Users recognise succinct, pleasant, and professional copy when they encounter it. For the niche presence, your stature (and sales) will escalate when you adopt the pace and tone modern users have come to expect from global businesses.

What, exactly, is expected?

A tone that’s polite, professional, and inoffensive in any way. It doesn’t contain any reason for anyone to develop negative perceptions about you.

When you grasp this idea, you’ll understand how large this arena of contemplation is. It’s not hard to eliminate potentially negative content, but it is labor intensive, as you must go from top to tail on your site and ensure every opportunity for professional politeness and reassurance is enabled, right down to the microcopy.

Such a pursuit allows you to naturally spot copy that might jar some people-it’s a dual process that happens as one. Put your best foot forward, and keep the other one out of your mouth!

Become narrowly cosmopolitan: speak to everyone, offend no one

Find a zone where you’re narrowly cosmopolitan. That means offending no one - your copy being able to land in Arizona, Ashburton, or Algeria - and speaking successfully to whoever finds you there.

Local SEO is a trending topic, and valid as a tweak to sales - but even extremely local businesses will find that their local clients expect a global tone when they find you online.

No one likes to feel left out, and the overarching imperative of the digital age is to present yourself as connected and up to speed as possible, even if you’re not!

Don’t think the local potato farmer who finds you online and might buy your goods is any less of a global citizen. Everyone wants to present as intelligent, and today that means being connected and informed. Don’t make the mistake of talking down to your local clientele, but rather produce content that falls within a broad category of globally succinct copy.

As a final important consideration, it’s true that markets aren’t always composed of all and sundry. Perhaps you’re a very specific niche business, with very specific potential, and loads of industry jargon?

Everything said above about copy and design content still stands!

Too much jargon is never great online. You’re talking to people, be they consumers or industry folk. They prefer an eloquent, smart, yet simple depiction of a company’s offer.

Key Takeaways

Make your copy better than good, take out anything potentially alienating for your potential clients, and you’ll be well on your way to engineering how people won’t feel about you by taking away any reason for them to generate a negative perception.

It’s management by omission, but it’s the kind of management that counts more than ever.

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