With a site like Checkatrade’s, the challenge is more nuanced. Their two principle user groups are tradespersons, who are their customers, and consumers – that is, members of the public who use the website to find tradespersons. Checkatrade need both to be happy with the website for their business to work.
Here’s the tricky bit: tradespersons might check out the consumer sections to see how well it appeals to the public and therefore how effective it would be for their business. Consumers, likewise, might explore the sales pitch to tradespersons, to see whether the service is really worth its salt as an arbiter of quality.
In other words, content for one group has a secondary purpose in satisfying a second. And let’s add in a third – Checkatrade staff, who have a huge web office behind the scenes, need to be able to understand everything that is going on and accomplish lots of different tasks with both groups.
Principles in writing for multiple audiences
With that in mind, here are some principles we used when writing the sales copy for Checkatrade to ensure that all audiences would be satisfied:
Standard terms – ironing out who should be called a ‘customer’, a ‘member’ a ‘consumer’ etc. Making sure that the staff were happy with the labels before applying them consistently through the website and all the copy.
Clearly labelled navigation – it had to be clear what section of the website was addressed to which group, so that ‘you’ would be unambiguous.
Honest and simple – if groups were crosschecking all the sections of the website, we needed to make sure that all of the areas were honest and straightforward about the benefits of Checkatrade for everyone. Of which, thankfully, there were many.
Social proof – we put consumer testimonials on the consumer pages to put the public at ease, and member testimonials on the sales pages to give potential new customers their bearings. The front page, being the way in for both parties, featured both consumer quotes and new member listings.
So that is what we tried to do in writing new copy for the Checkatrade website. Clarity is essential. You can read more about it on SmyWord. And if you want us to tackle a communication challenge for your business, we’d love to hear from you.