When a business decides to build a website, one of the first temptations we often see is for them to put every little bit of information about who they are on the new site. Because we are all so used to being restricted by space (packaging, retail space, printed advertisements), the idea that we could write as much as we want to is exciting.
Unfortunately, putting too much information on your website can be a problem.
We recently came across the article “Think of Your Website Like a First Date” on Inc.com and knew that our readers would love it. Scott Elser goes through familiar dating blunders and compares them to how people create content on their websites.
“If on a first date you tried to reveal your entire history and how you became the person you are today, your date would bolt. Same goes for your website.
You should approach your website the same way you approach that initial dinner conversation. Don’t think of the site as a place to give your entire spiel. This is the place people are coming to get to know you, see what you are about and determine if they would like to get to know your brand better.
Creating the right website can be one of the hardest things a company has to do. There are so many internal audiences to please, so many products and services to feature and so much to say about the brand. So how do you get all of this across without overwhelming your audience? Like any first date, apply a few simple rules that will hopefully turn this date into many more.
Make a great first impression.
We all know how important this is in life, and it is equally important on the web. Your visitors are going to judge you more on what they see in the first few seconds than on the actual content on your site as a whole. In fact, without a good first impression they are unlikely to actually experience your content at all. If you see high bounce rates, view your site through the eyes of your target. Are you targeting a younger audience with a site filled with text, or a high-tech consumer with a site that looks like it was built in the 80’s? Then you’ve got a problem that no amount of content can overcome.
Believe it or not, even a slick site design can send the wrong signal, if your customers are less tech savvy and just looking for a good deal. They will see dollars signs and think this date is a bad match.
Make the most of the time you have.
We’ve all been on that date from hell. After your date spends two hours talking non-stop about themselves, you think that a night at home with reality TV would have been better. It’s not fun at dinner, and it’s not fun on your site, either. People want to learn about your company, but most important they want to know what your company can do for them. Use consultative tools to ask questions and provide solutions based on customer needs. Engage them in a dialog rather than an information dump. They should feel that there was value in the time they spent with you…”