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Do you know who you’re writing for?

I often find that some of the very smallest companies’ websites are really effectively written, despite their relative lack of budget. Then over a certain size of company (and it’s quite small), websites suddenly get all bland. Why is this? Why are so many tiny companies able to provide engaging, relevant content but so many medium and large companies don’t seem to get it?

One obvious answer is that larger companies tend to design their websites by committee, and that inevitably leads to corporate dullness. But I don’t think that’s true. There are many, many uninteresting websites produced by medium and large sized companies even when one person is given freedom and control over everything.

I wonder if the best websites are produced by people who know their customers? This is almost always the case at the very smallest companies, where the website will be run by the proprietor, or the sales manager. Even without intentionally doing so, these people will write content which their customers can relate to. Once the company has reached a size where the website is in the hands of a person (or department) which never has any customer contact, there’s obviously going to be a disconnect. If this is you, might it not be a good idea to get out and meet some of the people you’re writing for?

And if you’re in the fortunate – if overworked – position of maintaining your company website and meeting customers regularly, press home that advantage, and use all that experience to write content which will make customers realise you know what you’re talking about, and really can help them.

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