As a digital marketing agency that offers web design, we’re always interested in articles that make the argument that your website is a person (because it is!). We recently came across an article in Forbes by Kate Harrison that discusses a book by Alan Berg called If Your Website Was An Employee Would You Fire It?. We found it pretty interesting and thought you might as well:
“In today’s marketplace, even long-established businesses need to have a website in order to be competitive. As with any marketing materials your company produces, the quality of your business is judged by the presentation of your work. In his book If Your Website Was An Employee Would You Fire It?, Marketing Guru Alan Berg encourages business owners to think of their website as more than another piece of collateral. “Your website is arguably the center of your marketing and sales universe these days, and therefore your most important ‘employee,’” he notes. “If you were to give it an employee evaluation, how would it do? Would you give it a raise, retrain it, or show it the door? For most of us retraining would be the right answer. If it’s not doing a great job it could be our own fault for not giving it the information it needs.”
The subtitle of Alan’s book is: Five Things You Wish You Knew Before You Made Your Website, And How To Fix Them Now! Here are the five questions he asks so you can improve your site (or so you can be prepared when you decide to build your next one):
1) Who Is Your Audience?
‘You can’t build a website if you don’t know who you’re building it for. That would be like decorating a house without knowing who’s going to live there. Do you have one audience or many? Very few websites have only one audience. Most of us have at least two: current customers and prospects. Many of us have more than that,’ he explains. In some cases, Alan suggest creating more than one website instead of trying to have one site be all things to all audiences.
2) How Will They Get To Your Site?
Alan notes the importance of catering to your specific audience by using sub-URLs. ‘If you know where someone is coming from then you should know what, if anything, they already know about you. If you control which page they land on when they arrive at your site you should take them to a page that continues the discussion that was started before they arrived. For instance if you’re a catering hall, then you have multiple audiences for weddings, corporate functions, bar/bat mitzvah, quinceańera and more. If you are advertising on a website for corporate functions then don’t link to your homepage, link to the page on your site about corporate functions.’ He suggests doing the same for every part of your business. ‘Taking them to your homepage when you know they’re interested in something more specific is taking them backwards,’ he warns.
3) What Do They Want To See And Do?
As your business grows and changes, it is hard not to want to share all of the new information with your audience right away, but Alan warns this can be a mistake. ‘Before you get to show them what you want, you had better satisfy them with the things they came looking for. If not then they’ll leave before you get the chance to tell your story. Make it easy for them to find what they want and they’ll stick around longer.’
4) What Do You Want Them To See And Do?
Paths of use and actionable items are essential for getting your audience to understand your offering and do what you want (e.g. buy your product or book your service). ‘Once you’ve satisfied them with #3 you can tell them more, and more importantly you can show them what action to take next. If you make that action clear and easy, more people will do it.’ Alan also suggests making contacting you as easy as possible. ‘I’ve had a lot of success putting short contact forms on every page of a site. It has increased the inquiries of my clients dramatically.’
5) Will They Come Back?
‘Ask yourself if your audience only needs to visit your site once, or if they need to, or want to, come back for more,’ Alan suggests. ‘Why does this matter? Our needs are different the second and third time we visit a site. We maneuver through it differently. We’re often looking for more detailed information, forms, etc. Make sure the user experience works for first time visitors as well as returning visitors and customers.’
So, how does your site stack up? Is it time to celebrate and give it a raise, or are you ready to retrain or fire your current site? Often a few tweaks is all you need to make your site perform better. You can find ideas on how to improve your most important employee’s performance in Alan’s book.”
If you’re interested in a revamp of your current web design, call us today! We can help you make it your best sales tool!