“Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” Irene Au
Your business website is the most important and most vocal platform for your Digital & Content marketing initiatives. A weak website drowns good content. A weak website takes target audience away from the company.
Your business website must have some specific qualities and functions in order to be effective in the online world.
We pay a lot of attention to the design and aesthetics aspects of website design. But most websites fail when it comes to user experience, user interface, target audience contextual content, SEO enabled content and ease of surfing.
“A design is about how it works.” Steve Jobs. It is not about how it looks (Except in museums).
In a digital world, a website is a gateway for your target audience, it carries and enhances your brand image, creates trust and likeability for the company and its brands, and should be Google friendly.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci
In a complicated world simplicity is a luxury. Yet most websites are complicated. Overburdened with the content and lacks target audience focus.
You need a digital marketing strategist and not mere website designers.
The purposes of a Website are many. Let’s examine the critical aspects of a website which every business owners must be careful about.
User Experience (UX)
This is much talked about aspect but even then mostly ignored or misunderstood.
User experience is different from User Interface. User experience is about the users.
“UX design is the art and science of generating positive emotions among people who interact with products or services.” Tomer Sharon, Senior UX Researcher at Google.
This is about what the users feel and think while surfing the website.
This can be incorporated into the website design by knowing your target audience and what they would expect from the website. Professionals would view things differently than housewives. This difference must be captured while designing the website.
User Interface (UI)
This is about what users see and do while surfing the website. If the UI is not good, UX will be affected. The same is not true otherwise. In spite of good UI, UX could be lackluster.
Your website UI is good that means it has a human-centered design, easy to navigate, and yet it does not have what the users are looking for.
It’s like a good looking and well-dressed man with rude temperament and bad character. Good looks and dressing are UI. UX is good looks, dressing including temperament and character.
Here is an example.
This Reliance Nippon Website has top panel color matches with the Google Chrome browser color. They also have one blue panel below.
Customer login is at the top grey color panel. A couple of times I had a problem in finding the login link. I had to write to their customer service. This is an example of weak UI. First, of all two panels are confusing and 2nd similar color.
Good UI and good UX both are important. It should be easy, pleasing and also serve the purpose.
Target Audience (TA)
Knowing the TA more closely is important for a website design. A website should be targeted to the specific target audience. ‘Who your target audience is?’ is the specific question the company should spend some time on.
Unless you know the challenges, goals and success factors of your target audience, your website will look generic and unimpressive. The target audience user should relate to what you have to say on your website.
If you are targeting everyone, you are not targeting anyone.
Knowing the target audience is important because then you will be able to demonstrate the solution you are providing to their problems /challenges.
Suppose you are selling GST Automation Software for Small CA Firms. Imagine how in the following scenario your approach to content on the website will change:
- TA is Chartered Accountants
- TA is Practising Chartered Accountants
- TA is Practising Chartered Accountant who is operating from SOHO
- TA is Practising Chartered Accountant who is operating from SOHO and Practising GST.
More granular you understand your TA, more relevant you become to them. Do some exercise to zero down on the target audience before you design our website.
Before you become a preferred seller, your TA should like you and trust you.
The buyer’s mental journey before the purchase is:
Know, Like, Trust, Try, Buy, Repeat and Refer.
People are not interested in buying your offerings. They are interested in solving their problem. Therefore knowing the journey and accompanying them from the beginning is the key advantage and differentiators.
Invest in educating the TA. How your company can educate them about the challenges they face, its implications and possible solutions.
Does your website contain content to educate TA? Or you have only sales speeches on your website?
People don’t like to be sold but they won’t mind buying from someone who they think are interested to solve their problem.
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Now your TA is educated about the challenges, its implications, and possible solutions. Now they need help in making a decision.
Your website should have content which helps them in taking a rational decision. You should help them in evaluating all options and all parameters they should consider while deciding.
”Don’t think about people as targets of the sale. The question isn’t who can you land, it’s who can you help? ” Michael Stelzner
Before people decide to buy from you they wish to know what your customers are saying about your offerings. In B2C segment customers, reviews are available on various platforms. The same is not the case for B2B.
Having as many customer testimonials and case studies on the website is useful in building trust and confidence.
Being found is the fun on the Internet. Inbound is the more effective way of marketing. In order to be found good SEO practice is necessary.
SEO is in vogue. Everyone talks about SEO. There are many consultants offering SEO services.
However, not only your website should be SEO enabled but your regular content on Blog also should be SEO enabled. Use of apt title, meta tags, keywords, long tail keywords, links, images, length of the article, and frequency everything should be SEO enabled.
You generate lots of content and if it’s not found by the TA, the objective fails. Generate SEO enabled content and promote it on all relevant social platforms.
Ease of navigation and ease of dealing with the company. Ease of doing the business is the motto of the Government but it’s not applied by the private companies.
Not only your website should be easy to navigate but you should use the website to make it easy for the TA to deal with your company.
According to CEB data, 57.7% of customers who call your company for help report having first gone to your website to solve their problem.
Therefore having a versatile website is very important. Because if the customers can’t solve their problems with the help of the website, attrition chances increase 4 fold.
CEB data says customer service interactions are actually more likely to lead to disloyalty than loyalty.
Be it FAQs or relevant roadmaps. Ease your customers/TAs efforts. Your website must serve this purpose.
Ease of navigation and ease of dealing with the company both are the key prerequisites of a good website.
Visitors’ Data Collection
Another thing which lacks is call to action. Most websites fail on this important criterion. No call to action, no landing page, no incentive to register or confusing and multiple calls to action.
Websites fail to capture the data of the visitors. Visitors of today might be at the beginning of their buyers’ journey. If the website does not capture the data and engage with them on a regular basis with contextual content, this could be a costly slippage.
If a visitors visit the website and are not a target audience, its okay if they leave. But is they are TA and not ready to buy immediately, the website should be able to generate enough interest for him to register.
A website is not a demonstration of your language mastery. All the content on the website must be in simple language free of jargon and technical terms.
There are countries which are making the language of their laws simpler. The language of the laws which are known to be complicated is getting simpler. Can the website target the prospects afford to be using complicated, jargonize and complex English language?
The purpose of the website is to communicate. Make sure it does the job effectively.
Digital Marketing (DM) and Content Marketing (CM) are in vogue. But if your website, the key asset to drive DM and CM is struggling with the key issues, both DM and CM are bound to fail.
Don’t use the website only to sell. Time is to become Evangelist of the space you wish to dominate. The website is the place to showcase what you are out to do in the World.
Here it is pertinent to note what Guy Kawasaki wrote in his article in HBR, The Art of Evangelism.
Evangelism is not self-promotion. It’s about sharing the best of what you, your team, and your organization produce with others who can benefit. That’s a responsibility—and an opportunity—that falls to everyone, from HR to IT, finance to operations, the C-suite to the shop floor. So build these skills little by little. Start with one act of evangelism a week and work your way up to several a day. Remember that this an art—and keep practicing.
Reimagine your brand values in light with the new realities of the market and tighten up your Website strategy. Remember, you need at Digital Marketing Strategist and Not Just a web designer.
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