Imagine running a brick and mortar retail shop. You have a big sign out front with a brand name handy, but not necessarily a lot of information. Even more difficult, there are several competitors all readily available on the same street. The importance of having a clear message of what service you are offering drastically increases as to avoid customers immediately turning and exiting within the first few seconds of entering.
This is even truer with your company’s website. Some simple things to keep in mind:
- Capture a visitor’s interest in the first three seconds or they’re gone.
- Convey the point of your product or service in an attractive way.
- Explain to the reader what they need to do next in order to obtain your product or service.
1. Capture Interest
A website should be designed, not just in the sense of “some guy coded up some HTML for us”, but in the sense of “everything on this page has a purpose, and they work together to achieve a goal.” A significant part of that design should be geared toward communicating your company’s value to the customer without the customer reading any text.
That’s because surfers have short attention spans, and if they don’t ‘click’ with your website in the first three seconds, 80% or more of them are going to click away, never to be seen again. The chief way to capture their interest is through the use of powerful graphical images and simple, large-font words that convey your business’ value in one or two simple terms. Even without access to a professional photographer, stock photography should work as long as you are careful to avoid clichés.
2. Convey The Point
While solid graphics and design can capture interest, it takes a lot more effort to convey the point. Particularly if you’re offering a complicated product like a SaaS platform or a B2B consulting process, the importance of simplicity in your Point cannot be understated. If your Point is written in terms of your business, your goals, or your jawdropping awesomeness, you’re doing it wrong.
The Point needs to answer exactly one question; what will you do for your customers that makes it worth their time and money to interact with you? It needs to do so quickly and easily as well. In many cases, companies with complex products (like B2B software for example) would do well to put together a short video. It’s a lot easier for a surfer to sit through a 2-minute video than it is for them to read 2 minutes worth of text and process it. And in the case of software, it may also work well to include a demo in the video of how the software will benefit their business by saving them money and helping them run things more efficiently. If you don’t have the budget (or time) there are plenty of stock footage options available.
As you explain your point to them, you should be getting them excited about it. That requires a bit of customization to your audience. For example, B2B customers want to see big, exciting numbers, while housewives are more interested in getting their personal problems solved. Assuming you know your audience and what they’re looking for, do whatever it takes to make them anticipate having your product or service in their grasp.
3. Explain What Comes Next
After you’ve conveyed the Point effectively, the customer should have a solid idea of why they would want to give you their money. The next step is to capitalize on that by making it as easy as possible for them to do so. Transition bluntly from the Point to a basic call-to-action; click this link, call this number, come to our office — whatever they have to do to give you their cash.
Get them hooked, get them excited, and then get them to buy. Everything else your website does is just details.