I. We. You. They. These pronouns signify different types of point of view, also known as POV. When writing text for your business’s website, one of the first questions you’ll have to answer is: In which POV will I write my text?

Below, you’ll learn about the differences among the three types of POV: first, second, and third-person. You’ll learn what effect each one has on the reader and ultimately how to decide which is the most effective POV for your online brand.

First-Person POV (I or We)

Example

Each morning, we offer three unique brews of coffee for our valued customers: a dark roast, a lighter roast, and a decaf blend.

What It Implies

First-person POV is the most personal of the three points of view. Using I or We gives you the chance to show off your personality as a business owner or to establish a clear voice for your brand. This POV helps build trust with consumers, as any text will read as if it is coming straight from you.

When to Use It

Use first-person POV when you want to get personal and build trust with consumers. First-person POV is especially useful on your homepage, About Us page(s), and your Contact Us page. These pages give you the opportunity to share your company’s values, highlight your company culture, and let consumers know what you’re all about.

Second-Person POV (You)

Example

When you’re in a rush to get to work in the morning, you can now order directly from your smartphone. Your latte will be hot and ready to go as soon as you arrive.

What It Implies

Second-person POV implies that your website visitor is involved in the conversation. You’re speaking directly to the visitors and asking them to imagine themselves in whatever situation you’ve created for them.

When to Use It

Second-person POV is the ideal choice when you want a website visitor to take action. By using you-language, you’re letting a reader see exactly how they could benefit from your product or service. The purpose of second-person POV is to make it clear that you want to help your website visitors and make them feel included in the conversation.

Third-Person POV (They)

Example

OMNI Coffee Co. offers a variety of loose-leaf teas, in addition to their speciality coffees and espresso drinks. They brew a different tea every afternoon for their customers to sample.

What It Implies

Third-person POV often implies professionalism and is seen as the most formal of the three POVs. Whereas first and second-person POV imply that a conversation is happening, third-person POV implies that the writer is someone outside of the conversation.

It often implies impartiality as well—in other words, that you are informing, rather than persuading.. This is why opinion pieces are written in first-person POV, while news articles are written in third-person POV.

When to Use It

Third person-POV gives you the opportunity to use your brand’s name. This POV can be most useful for writing meta descriptions, so they read as if a search engine is making a recommendation on your behalf. Third-person POV may also be useful when you want to present information without appearing biased.

So, which one should you use?

When writing website text, you want to inform your visitors about your products or services. But you also want to inspire them to take action (aka conversion), whether that is contacting your business, purchasing your product online, or visiting your store in person.

We recommend using First-person and/or Second-person POV throughout your site. Using I or we-language will help build trust in your brand, while using you-language will inspire consumers to take action.

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