The chap in our video has a party popper, which he explodes a few seconds after you meet him. At the end of the film, he toots one of those party whistles that squirt out a streamer.

It’s silly, but it helps you remember the message, which is that the primary function of your website is probably not what you thought it was.

Yes, it’s an information-provider. But also, it’s a memorability-enhancer, an engagement-inviter, an awareness-expander, an empathy-builder, a help-giver, a friend-creator.

But mainly, it’s a customer-getter and a customer-keeper.

Because the primary function of your website is the same as the primary function of your business – the acquisition and maintenance of customers.


So why does the ‘About Us’ navigation choice come first? And why, if you click it, do you get some pompous spiel about your values and your history?

And why is your website written in a foreign language? (By which we mean, in a language that’s foreign to your customers and prospects).

Say you’re a bank that offers home loans. Having a ‘mortgages’ link, button or headline is using your language, not your customers’. Mortgage is just a piece of financial jargon, after all.

So what’s the customer translation? How about “I want to buy a house” or “I want to move house” or “I want to reduce my monthly payments” or “Can I afford to buy a house?”

Yes, those are clunky when set against the jargon shorthand, but if you used some version of them, don’t you think your website would feel different? Feel more like it knew how your customers and prospects think? Feel somehow more friendly and human?

And that’s the point. Your website will acquire and maintain more customers if it thinks and talks like your customers. If it talks about their needs and aspirations, focuses on their problems and priorities and if it does all this using their language, not yours.




Steve Yelland

Steve Yelland

Writer and brand strategist. A writer since 1978, Steve Yelland’s work has built share and sold product for some of the world’s top brands. His writing has appeared in the D&AD Annual three times and has won awards in the UK, Europe and the USA.