If you’ve been in business or marketing for any length of time this shouldn’t be a new concept. But often it’s a hard concept to remember. Business can be chaos and following best practices isn’t always at the top of mind.
But you do know that your customers are the only reason your business exists. Without them you are out of business.
We create websites, but we are ultimately in the marketing business. We help businesses achieve their goals online.
When we start a new web design project with a new customer it’s easy to spot early on if the business is keeping the customer at the forefront. You’ll hear things like “we need a section featuring our employees” or “let’s change everything to blue” or even “let’s make a page all about the awards we’ve gotten over the years.” For the untrained, you might think these are fine suggestions. The problem is, why? Why are we making these suggestions? Why does the customer need to have these items on the website in the first place?
How does this benefit the customer?
That’s the item that matters. How and why does this benefit the customer?
If you don’t have a good answer for that, remove it. It’s noise.
It’s all about goals and priorities. For example, would you rather a customer call or learn about your latest award?
Your website needs to further your business interests. Customers should take action. That doesn’t mean they can’t read or learn about something and then act but if you only have one choice about what a customer will do on your website, what will want them to do?
Another similar problem I see is that everything matters equally. Which is not the case. You must have everything in order of priority. And if you step back even further you need to have goals for your website. Why does this website exist? What you want your website to do for your business?
Thinking through this process and answering these questions will surely make your website more successful for your business.
Sometimes it’s hard to have the humility to understand that you and your business just don’t matter to the customer. It’s hard to step back and think that you’re not the most important person or business in a prospective customers mind. The customer simply has a problem, and they need a solution for the problem. And that’s where your business comes in. Your business is going to be a solution for your customers problem.
I’ve seen a lot of businesses treat a website like a book that the customer is just dying to read. They think that a customer is going to grab a cup of coffee load up the web browser view the website and settle in for the next four hours reading through your company’s history, portfolio and solutions before they make any decisions. Then they’ll find the phone number at the end of the book and call you. This is delusional.
The Internet is full of people doing multiple things at once, thinking about where they’ll go for lunch, and landing on your website. With tons of distraction in the background. After all the most common phrase of our modern society is “I’m busy.”
With all that, do you think that these busy people are going to take any real amount of time on your website? You think they’re going to take the time and read every single word that you’ve so carefully created? Not a chance. The Internet is full of skimmers trying to decipher information in a quick way so they can decide to take the next step or not. When your website is up to bat, you’ve got a couple seconds or less to make an impression. You need to keep that customer on your website long enough to gain their trust and for them to take some sort of action (phone call, subscribe to newsletter, contact form, etc.).
Just think for a second about how you browse the Internet. Especially when you’re looking for a service provider or a product purchase. Try to catch yourself in the moment and see how you behave online.
What you see above is just a sample of the questions and thought process that go into us helping our web design customers. We are not order takers. Where we specialize is taking a rough idea or concept and refining that with our customers to develop the best website that we can. A website that will be a good investment that returns dividends to the business, not an expense to write off.
At the end of the day, we enjoy helping people. Websites and marketing just so happen to be the way we do that.
And really, taking orders for basic five-page websites every day would be mind-numbing.
Give us a call if this strikes a chord with you: (360) 450-3711