When you’re setting up your website, it’s the most natural thing in the world to think it’s about your business – your mission, products and services, history, success stories, etc., etc. After all, this is what your customers want to know, right?
Actually, no, it’s not. Unless your visitors entered your website address (URL) directly from your business card, or click a link from a public listing or review of your business, they aren’t coming to research your company. They’re coming with a problem in mind, looking for a solution.
And if your site doesn’t look like it’s likely to provide the solution those visitors want within seconds of their arrival, they will – repeat will – move on, no matter what your credentials are. If you can’t direct them to the product they need, and tell them how to use it, they simply aren’t interested in your 30-year history at the forefront of your industry.
In other words, while your website may superficially seem to be about your company, your products and your services, it’s really about your visitors, providing answers to their needs and solutions to their problems.
What are some indicators of a site that serves your visitors’ needs, versus one that simply promotes your business?
- That simple three-letter “y” word – you. How many times does your content use “you” instead of “we”, “I”, or your company name?
- Ease of use. Does your site put the information your visitors need on the landing page, or does it bury useful information below several sub-menus? Does it use a clean, easy-to-read style with black text on a white background, short paragraphs and plenty of open space, or does it cram as much information as possible onto high-tech pages designed in white-on-black reversed text?
- Helpful headlines. Do your site speak directly to the visitor’s needs with a home page headline like “The Right Gadget for Your Purpose…Every Time” or does it begin with a generic headline like “Welcome to Our Site” or “Leading the Gadget Industry Since 1979”?
- Understandable language. Does your website speak the same language your audience uses – or does it drown them in technical terminology and jargon?
- Features versus benefits. How much do you tell about the ways in which your products or services can solve your visitors’ problems, instead of describing the details or specs of whatever you do or sell?
- Educational content. Does your site offer additional information such as an FAQ, a blog, or an article library to help your visitors make good decisions, or does it assume they have all the background information they need?
- Continuing connection. Does your site offer an educational newsletter, a special report, or some other free information product for the visitor to download (which also puts a lasting reminder of your expertise in their hands and gives you an opportunity to get their contact information for your mailing list)? Or does it just tell visitors to call or write for more information?
Bottom line – treat your site visitors as you would treat individual prospects in a personal presentation. Let them know you care about their needs and want to solve their problems. They’ll reward you with their trust and business.