I have a client who has a successful, growing business. He’s asked me to help update his website to help support his company’s upcoming growth into new markets. As part of my research on the project, the client shared with me several websites that he liked–most were highly successful competition in his space. The designs varied, but the common theme I found in them was not what most people would expect.
Let me share my letter that I sent to this client this morning. Maybe it will help you as you consider your own company’s online presence.
A few more questions and points to share here.
Question 1: First, I’d like for you to share with me the top three words that you want people to feel or think the moment they hit your website.
Question 2: Another thing I’d like to know is what your USP is–your unique selling point, what sets you apart from all the other companies, big or small. Why should someone (or some company) chose to work with you rather than anyone else in your industry?
A few thoughts: I don’t know if you’ve heard of the Blue Ocean strategy, but it might be something your company would find helpful. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than a hundred years and thirty industries, Kim & Mauborgne, in their book, “Blue Ocean Strategy” argue that companies can succeed not by battling competitors, but rather by creating ″blue oceans″ of uncontested market space. They assert that these strategic moves create a leap in value for the company, its buyers, and its employees, while unlocking new demand and making the competition irrelevant.
It’s so easy to want to be like the “big” guys that what happens is that you end up not having your own flavor and uniqueness–nothing about you stands out. One thing I’ve noticed from a lot of these companies’ websites that you’ve shown me is that they’re succeeding in spite of their website, not because of it. Their websites don’t clearly say what they do, they don’t clearly state how they will help the user, they don’t describe their market space. K— F— started way back in 1969 and, while now they are the largest e—– firm in the world, their massive growth most likely came before the internet, considering they were in business for 30+ years before the internet became a big deal.
My goal is to take my little guy clients and make them look better than the big guy. This is possible because generally the big guys have so many “heads” and “committees” that they can’t move rapidly and adjust to the changing markets as quickly as the little guy can. There are trends on the internet now that these big guys are not caught up with yet. If you are able to allow a designer make you look good–bringing out your unique selling point and speaking to the needs of the consumer (be it a person or a company), you’re going to stand out online. People will remember you.
One piece of design that I’ve learned is that we want to draw the eye to focal points and then make marketing messages there that are consumer centered, using as few words as possible to give the clearest message. Eyes are drawn to color, as you can see on K— F—‘s website. Because of this, it’s important to use the color strategically to get our message across.
Another thing I’ve learned is that while sliders are hip and cool, they actually reduce conversion. I wrote an article about this on my blog. The article is about sliders, but the underlying principle is that people need to feel in control and need messages that are crystal clear–easy to determine by reading just 20-28% of the content on your page.
Those are a few of my thoughts. 🙂 Let me know if any of this is helpful to you…and do share with me answers to the two questions I asked at the beginning of the email.
If your website isn’t clearing presenting how you are able to serve your clients needs, or if the design isn’t crisp and clear, we’d be honored to talk with you about how we can make your message clearer. We love what we do and we love making you look and be successful online! Give me a call today on my direct line at 541-903-1180 or email me using our contact form. I’d be honored!