Posted by Jay Wilkinson

“Check us out at”

Whoa. That’s compelling. “Check us out.”

Here’s your takeaway for today: There’s nothing that interesting about a “check us out” or “find us online” statement that is going to compel people to visit your website if you simply stop there and then just list your web address. In order to drive traffic to your site, you have to tell your audience more than just how to get there—you need to explain why they should.

In the first instance, it’s all about you. In the second, it’s all about them.

Herein lies the golden rule of web promotion: Tell people what’s in it for them. That’s the bottom line. Just think about it for a second. It sounds so simple, but few of us actually do it.

Many businesses and organizations alike think that they’ll drive traffic to their website simply by listing their URL in a footer of an email newsletter, or on a direct mail piece or maybe in a banner ad. But you need to go a step further.

“Visit us online and get information on this,” or “Find us online and learn more about this, that and the other thing.” It’s all about telling people, “If you come to our website, here’s how you’ll benefit. Here’s what you’ll find. Here’s why it will matter.”

This is a basic tenant of advertising—it’s called giving people a call to action. Yes, inviting your target audience to your website is important, as well as getting your URL out there and telling people where to find you. But you’re busy, I’m busy, the whole online world is busy. If you want people to take a few minutes out of their day to visit your website to see what your organization is all about, then you need to explain why they should. Don’t ever assume that they’ll know.

You know what people find compelling? Themselves. Their own interests, their wants and desires, their passions and purposes—these are the things that drive people to act. When you promote your website, appeal to that part of a person that wants to know, “What’s in this for me?” and you’ll see far better results than simply saying, “Check us out.”

Compel people to act by talking about them. Successful marketers understand that people are much more likely to respond if the message is “you” focused rather than “us” centered.