7 Things Your Website Should Include by Matt Jennison, Founder and CEO, One Zebra
Date Posted: Wed, 09 Oct, 2019
Matt Jennison, Founder and CEO of One Zebra shares his "7 things your web site should have". A great checklist for business owners looking at improving the efficiency of their online presence.
A Compelling Header
When a visitor first lands on your website, you’ve got 6-7 seconds to convince them they are in the right place, before they hit the back button and disappear to the next search result on Google… probably to one of your competitors websites.
“Above the fold” is an old publishing term that refers to the top half of a newspaper; remember the days when we all bought newspapers, perhaps from a news stand? When the Times, Evening Standard, Daily Mail or the Daily Mirror (each to their own, right?!) is folded in half and you can only see the top half of the paper (above the fold), it was those headlines that hooked you in and encouraged you to purchase and read that newspaper.
When you look “above the fold” on your website, i.e. before you scroll down, can you answer a resounding “Yes” to each of the following questions?
Are you communicating what you offer?
Is it clear how your product or service will make your customer’s life better?
Is it clear to your customer how to buy your product or service?
People don’t read websites, they scan them, so keep the text minimal. Photos in your header should display aspirational success, or help the visitor envision what life after using your product or service will look and feel like.
Bonus tip – next time you are in a coffee shop, walk upto a stranger and show them your website on your laptop or mobile screen. After 5 seconds, close the screen and ask them to tell you what your company does and how you make peoples lives better… if they cant tell you, your website is lacking clarity.
Clear and obvious calls to action
What’s the most common mistake marketers and sales people both make? They fail to ask for the sale. Subtlety may work when asking for a night out pass from your other half, but for best results when it comes to generating and closing business, don’t make your website visitors or sales prospects work hard to buy from you!
There are two types of call to action “CTAs” you should have on your website:
Direct CTA – put a BUY NOW, BOOK A DEMO or SCHEDULE A CALL button in the top right hand corner of your site, and again in the centre of the screen. If you change nothing else, just implementing this tactic will convert more visitors into leads.
Transitional CTA – Not everyone that lands on your site is ready to buy or engage right away, you’ve read the stats on how much research buyers do online before they speak with a sales person (if not, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to share more), essentially buyers are stalking you and your website long before you ever know they exist. So, how do you capture the attention of these secret visitors? With a Transitional CTA. This should be an asset that is of value to the visitor, accessible from the home page, (a second button next to the Direct CTA, a pop-up or banner ad all work well). Examples of these include free eBooks, interactive calculators and quizzes; whatever you use, make sure you are giving away some of your knowledge and expertise that is relevant to your business and valuable to your customer. In return for this, ask for an e-mail address and then keep in touch with them with more valuable content (just make sure you are GDPR compliant and offering value, don’t spam them – you give us all a bad name!).
Your Value Proposition
This one is relatively simple, think of three or four things that your customer will get s a result of engaging with your brand. I recommend using graphics or icons, with a bold title above a short description – this captures the skim reader and draws them in.
Within this content, or in addition to it, make sure you communicate what success feels like for your customers. Whether you are B2B or B2C, you are selling to human beings and our brains are all hard wired to do two things: 1. Survive and Thrive, 2. Conserve calories. Our brains burn calories process information and when we read or hear something that paints a picture of success, our brain interprets that as helping us to survive or thrive. Now you have their attention!
At the point when your customer is considering whether to contact you or buy now, they are about to put themselves at risk. At risk of losing money, losing face, losing time etc – all things that don’t help them survive or thrive. To overcome this concern, we need to give them 3 simple steps they can follow to enagage with, use or implement our product or solution.
How does your product work? What does your customer need to do in order to experience success with your product? How do you lead your customers to the aspirational future they crave?
Displaying this plan will lift the fog for your customers. I recommend 3 steps, because the power of 3 is proven to be easy to remember. Again, use icons here and even if your product or service is complex, keep it simple. It may involve 20 steps to implement your solution, in this case you can break it down into phases.
Woooahhh there Matt, we don’t publish pricing on our website. I can almost hear that voice in your head already, haha! When I say cost, I’m referring to the cost of not doing business with you. If there is no cost, nothing at stake, no consequences as a result of not buying from you or engaging your service – why would I bother?
Explain what your customer is spending too much time or money on and how your product or service solves it. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out Bain & Co’s Elements of Value pyramid. Whether you have verbalized it or not, you are resolving some kind of problem or frustration or offering something of value at an emotional level to every customer you serve.
Ok, now I really do mean pricing! Now, this one isn’t relevant for everyone, a good rule of thumb is if your pricing is north of AED 7-8k, I’d be cautious about publishing pricing. However, its not a hard and fast rule.
If you do publish pricing, two things I recommend you do:
Make sure you package your products to make it easy to buy
Include bite sized breakdowns of your product or service
The Junk Drawer
This is the section right at the bottom of your site. This is where you should put everything that doesn’t serve the primary function of your website.
The mistake a lot of companies make, is to include all sorts of info above the fold about their mission, vision, values, blah blah blah. Now, this stuff is all important in context, but your website is not the place for it. At least, not in the prime real estate of your website. Browsing and researching customers don’t care about your story yet, they are looking for a solution and that’s what should go front and centre.
The junk drawer is the place to put your FAQs, employment opportunities, contact details (address, map etc), Blog and social links.
Matt is happy to answer questions you may have on any of the points above and you can contact him through the Member Directory or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.onezebra.com and register for a free website assessment.