I was having a call with a small business owner client the other day, and she told me her former colleague had started a consulting business and sent her the link to his new website.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about that, but she then shared that when she looked at the website, she had no idea what services he provided, or what kinds of clients he worked with.

She then said, “He wrote it for himself.” (Ouch!)

Attention is a scarce commodity these days. You have seconds to capture a prospective client’s attention.

In a perfect world, your website is supposed to help you generate sales conversations and/or actual sales, not catalogue your past achievements or baffle readers with insider jargon.

Or leave them scratching their heads, as in this case.

If someone doesn’t immediately understand what you do and who you do it for, you need to rework your website. Here are some ways you can check yourself before you wreck yourself (and your business).

Ask an outsider

We all like confirmation and praise. We tend to surround ourselves with people who think and act like us. Or in business, have professional experiences in common with us.

When you have a solid draft of your website copy or a live development site, you should run it by people who don’t know you very well and aren’t in your immediate circle.

Ask them to tell you what you do. Are they saying back to you what you think you wrote in your copy?

Do they understand what you’re saying or are they asking the same questions?

A good rule of thumb is to err on the side of simplicity. People are busy and distracted. Make it easy for them or they’ll just click away.

Ask a professional

If you know some professional copywriters, this could be a good time to call in a favor or trade some time. What tweaks do they suggest?

Can you get them to proofread your copy? Sloppy copy with grammar errors and typos reflects poorly on you and your business. And it‘s true that you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

Ask your clients

If you have some clients who are raving fans, reach out to them and get their feedback. Does your copy resonate with them? Is there something they love about you and your company that you should add in?

Whenever possible, use the actual phrases and vocabulary prospects and clients use in their conversations with you, not what you think would be professional – or clever.

You will know that you have compelling copy when prospects tell you they felt like you were inside their heads when they read your website. I have this happen all the time.

This is when you know you’ve nailed your messaging. And the best benefit of all is that prospects raise their hands to have sales conversations because they feel understood, which makes for fun conversations with higher conversion ratios. Bonus!

In short, your whole sales process gets easier when you write website copy for your clients. And your revenue goes up, too.