Monday, 7 April 2014

Making our website fit for purpose

In the same way that a builder’s own extension is the last to be finished, so too was our website the last to be reviewed and declared UNFIT FOR PURPOSE!

We want to share some of the key considerations that lead us through the review and on to the new site. To create this: we considered this - QUESTIONS:

When you last closed the office door and took your phone off the hook to read your website (what do you mean you don’t review it?) did it say the right thing, in the right way, in the right order, to be clear to an audience you’d be pleased to do business with, so they can action the right levels of contact?

Let’s consider those key points again:

Does your website say the right thing;
We all spend time reviewing and refining the corporate message – from a succinct elevator pitch, to finely tuned correspondence, e-mail marketing, advertising, corporate literature and blogs. But is the message on your website still singing from the same hymn sheet?

In the right way;
‘It’s not what you say but how you say it.’ When we physically make a face to face presentation we know that tone, style, posture are as if not more important than the content. In the same way, tone and structure can add enormous power to the words you say on screen. Line breaks, paragraph lengths, column widths, font, colourways and … punctuation. Is your message written in such a way that the viewer will be able to actually read it.

In the right order;
This is crucial to a website and there are two sides to this coin. Imagine yourself standing by the podium about to present your business, services and ethos to a room full of prospects. You start with a sensible summary of what’s to come, then move logically through the process from one theme to the next, ending with a closing summary and chance for the floor to ask questions. So, that’s the home page, service development ‘chapters’ and contact call-to-action.

The flip side is that we do not know which page the viewer will start at, or where they will go next. Because of this, each page must have its own start, middle and end with a clear, single-proposition opportunity to act and make contact.

To be clear to an audience you’d be pleased to do business with;
It‘s really very simple. Your web copy, structure, content and style should be built with your audience profile, needs and authority in mind – as should any corporate message and language.

So they can action the right levels of contact?
For the viewer to confidently click that all important contact button, the benefits they’ll gain by doing so must be clear and appropriate. We know what we want them to do and how, but how do we impart what they will gain and why? What’s in it for them? Again we need to properly understand our intentions and our audience needs. If we are just list building then perhaps free gifts, information and discounts might be appropriate. But if we are talking to senior decision makers for mutually beneficial corporate benefits then it’s the ‘benefit to need’ clarity that counts.

This is the process. Follow it and you won’t go far wrong. Consider the same steps in the context of all of your communication materials – correspondence, emails, brochures, newsletters, blogs etc etc and your marketing / CRM / customer relations will improve enormously. Not only will you know you’ve clarified the message, but they will understand the message too.

1 comment:

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    Regina Morales @ Sonic Response