Your Website MUST Do This Exceptionally Well. (+Case Study!)
The point I'm making today may seem obvious and basic, but don't be fooled by its apparent simplicity. There's a lot more than meets the eye here.
In other words: listen up. And make check the real-life website example below, too.
Can your website visitors figure it out?
Your website's visitors must be able to tell what you do and what value you provide within a few seconds of their arrival. (Some people say 4 seconds, some people say 8 seconds. Regardless, they need to be able to tell very, very quickly.)
This plays such a critical part in the effectiveness of your website that I'm going to say it again, this time in the form of a question:
Can your website's visitors immediately understand what it is you do and what value your company provides? (Can you even answer this question?)
What you do must be made exceptionally obvious
If a visitor to your site can't tell what you do, he'll leave. Period. There's no reason for someone to stay on a business website when he doesn't even understand what's being offered in the first place.
All those secondary details about your amazing staff, your sparkling new facilities, and your state of the art equipment mean absolutely nothing if your website's visitors can't even figure out what it is you do.
The key point here is simple: What you do/what you offer should be absolutely, exceptionally, 100% crystal clear to visitors arriving at your website. The goal is to make this happen on every page in your website. To start out with, set out to reach this goal on your homepage.
Real World Website Example
The following is the homepage of a website we built for a physical therapist client.
Let's take a look at some specific, concrete examples of how we help visitors to this website clearly understand what our client does and how specifically, he helps people.
Tactic #1: Title Tag Text
In this homepage's title tag we made sure the words "Denver Physical Therapist" were placed smack dab at the front. Anyone glancing at the name of the site will immediately see Rick's profession.
Tactic #2: Tagline near logo
Rick's long-time tagline ("Health - Wellness - Fitness") is placed above his logo. Though it doesn't provide specifics about Rick's services, it gives a glimpse into what industry he's in and how he helps people. The tagline also helps contribute to a larger overall picture of what Rick does when combined with the other tactics used in the homepage.
Tactic #3: What he'll do for you is stated upfront and center
The primary visual on the site's homepage includes A) a photo of Rick working on a woman's body, B) a fact about chronic pain, and C) a promise stating how Rick will work with you: "I will help you understand and correct these connections."
Tactic #4: Prominent display of his unique value
In a red highlight box placed above the main content, we placed the Unique Value Proposition (UVP) we developed for Rick. If they saw just this one sentence alone, site visitors could immediately understand what Rick does and what makes him meaningfully different and better than the competition. When used alongside the homepage's other tactics, placing the UVP here allows visitors to quickly develop a clear, well-informed picture of what Rick does and how he provides value.
Tactic #5: Intro paragraph that comes right out and says it, again!
The first true paragraph of text on the site's homepage offers a clear, more detailed description of Rick's exact services and the value he offers. For those visitors with eyes that jump about, the heading above the text, "How Do I Help People?" helps instantly guide them to the answer.
Does your site clearly state what you do and how you help?
Today's key takeaway:
What you do/what you offer should be absolutely, exceptionally, 100% crystal clear to visitors arriving at your website.
Is this the case with your company's website?
If you don't know and you're serious about finding out, you can learn a lot in just a few minutes by grabbing a handful of people (one at a time would be best) who don't know what you do and who have never seen your site before. Sit them in front of your site and ask them to tell you what your company does and what value you provide. Keep an eye on the clock and see how long it takes to receive an answer. And see if that answer is actually correct...