Step by Step Marketing for Small Businesses
Has your website lost its clarity?
I was recently reading the book “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown, which is phenomenal by the way, and thought so much of it can be, and should be applied to website design. I plan to write several articles about web design, each originating from an element from “Essentialism.” This is my third blog using Essentialist criteria for creating your website.
Another chapter in the book is includes the statement, “Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
This statement begins another great chapter in his book. Recently, as my daughter was about to graduate high school and we were working on her resume, we were discussing the importance of each statement on that document. We talked about the overuse of meaningless statements found on so many resumes. Statements like “hard worker, expert in this and that skill, etc.” statements that just about everyone puts on their resumes and that end up meaning nothing.
Then we discussed the importance of power statements. Information that is quantifiable and comparable. Information that can lead to real answers rather than one person’s inflated perception of themselves.
I would like to compare this to so many websites. I have often talked about architectural websites and I will do that again now. I automatically think about the descriptions of key team members. It seemed as though ten years ago the only way that architects described their firms was in these same terms. They used vague and ambiguous statements about their core ideas and design styles, yet when you were finished reading about them you were no closer to understanding their firm than before you started reading. It seemed that every firm followed this same way of writing.
I am happy to say that recently, many architects have changed to a much more meaningful way of describing their firms. The main question is where does your website stand?
Let’s go thru the main points of virtually all architectural sites and pretty much all sites in general.
Home page descriptions
What kind of information is compelling enough to add to the first page of your website. These statements should not be long paragraphs but rather short, concise statements full of meaning and clarity. This is the high-level portion of your site. It can include things such as a few power statements, a welcome section, short descriptions of key accomplishments or your most popular products. A client should be able to quickly scan thru your home page and be clear about who you are and what you have to offer.
This section typically includes information about key members of the company as well as overall information of the firm. It often includes images that offer a sense of who you are. This is where you can offer more information building upon any statements found on the home page. Pictures on this page and all pages should be high quality and engaging.
For architects, this is their projects page. For stores, this is their products page. Many companies simply add picture after picture, sharing a short or long description of the project/product. This is hopefully where the bulk of the client’s time is spent. That means this is a great place to also share information that can convince clients of your worth. Why not add more power statements or testimonials? Add a call to action where clients can interact or receive something useful as a download. Make sure you use these pages to your best advantage.
All to often this page simply has a form to leave your contact information. Some people go farther and add a picture of their office and a map. Please remember moments from now the client will leave your website, possibly never to return. Have you asked them to join your newsletter of LinkedIn page? Have you offered them something useful that will also keep you in the front of their memory? Or have you simply asked them for their contact information as they are about to leave. Use this page wisely for it is the last thing they will see.
People expect more than just statements without meaning. They want substance. They want to quickly get a grasp of who you are and what you can do to help them. That is why they are there after all. Make sure you have answered those questions leaving them with a clear understanding of what you will bring to them. If this is done, then your website will be an asset to your company. If you wonder how effective your site is, then perhaps that is your answer. So often your website is what makes or breaks the decisions of clients so make sure it gives the right answers.