Your website isn’t supposed to be a ‘work of art’. It is supposed to be a MARKETING tool.
It is an online marketing tool that must either:
a. Start a relationship to bring people closer to the point of purchase, or
b. Sell something, right there and then.
With those objectives, it’s no good expecting a website developer who only has artistic, design and technical skills to do all that needs to be done.
Don’t get me wrong. Your web designer plays a vital role.
Your website MUST look good. It must be appealing, inviting and interesting. I have the greatest respect for people who understand website design, the use of colour, how the eye moves across the page and how to communicate your branding. It is vital. And we have very talented web designers, web developers and animators who do this amazingly well here at Crockford Carlisle. The way they’ll add to the perceived value of your product or service leaves me in awe. Like I said, they have my respect.
But let me tell you…
Good design is not enough.
If you are serious about your website as a marketing tool, you need more.
You ALSO need someone with a commercial eye and a marketing focus!
You MUST use a persuasive argument.
We produce a lot of “second generation” websites. That’s when a client has had a website built elsewhere, found that it isn’t helping make sales, and needs to start over with a different approach.
Second time around, they are wiser.
Talking to them about their first go, there is one thing that stands out. In each case, the web developer they used asked THEM to provide the content — often when the work on the site was well progressed. The content was seen as something that would be placed into the site, once it was ready… last thing… after all the “important stuff” is done.
And that, right there, is putting the cart before the horse.
Well, look at your own experience as a buyer — particularly when it comes to service or products that have some complexity. While the look/feel of the brochure or website played a part in winning your confidence, you still needed:
- Answers to your questions.
- To be shown WHERE the value was for you with one brand over another.
- Reassurance about any hesitations you may have had.
- Information that would show how this solution would fix your problem.
- Reasons to act NOW — rather than leaving it till later.
- And a host of other ingredients in the ‘persuasive pie”.
And where did you get this?
It came from the CONTENT!
Content is the powerhouse of your website. It pulls everything else along with it. So, when building your site, it MUST come first, and good design must support and enhance it.
So, if you are asked to ‘supply some content”, PARTICULARLY once the website is half built, that tells you that the web developer is thinking about your site artistically and technically — instead of commercially. And that means that some key weaknesses may be built into your site from the get-go.
First up, take off your artist’s hat. Put on your marketer’s hat. Think things through, with questions like:
- What do you want visitors to do once they’ve reached your site?
- How are you going to make the unique benefits of your business clear?
- Do you need to educate prospects about your product/service? If so, how?
- What types of offers do you want to make to start a relationship — so they don’t just ‘visit your website and leave’?
- Do you want to sell your products or services directly via your site?
- Or, is yours a multi-step sale? In which case you need your visitors to send you their details so you can set up appointments? Or send information to a point of contact?
- How will you make the BENEFITS of doing business with you (as opposed to your competitors) crystal clear?
- What do you need to do to get people to come back to your site?
- How will you make people who aren’t ready to buy now, but who ARE potential future prospects to feel OK about subscribing or connecting in some way?
And as we said earlier, nearly ALL of those issues are content related. They are the things that will make your website work as the marketing and business development tool you are looking for.
Four important stages to a successful outcome.
To get the most of your website, we recommend a four-pronged approach.
- Strategic planning – set clear objectives for the site, and then draw up a site map that aligns with your marketing goals.
- Copywriting — this must be persuasive and focussed on adding value and making sales.
- Design and artwork — more than just “pretty pictures", good design must SELL your products/services.
- Technical set-up and publication on the net — your site must load quickly and be free from gratuitous technical frills (such as intro-pages), which don’t add value to your prospects.
Your website is an IMPORTANT part of your marketing mix.
- Get it right, and it will:
- Generate leads
- Increase sales
- Save you time and internal resources
- Cut the costs of running your business
- Make your service more appealing for your customers
- Make it easier to do business with you
- Reduce the overall costs of your marketing.
To get the right combination of persuasive content and good design, contact us today!
We’ll help you to crystallise your objectives and develop a strategy to achieve them.
From there, we'll put our creative team into action to write compelling, motivating copy to hold people on your site for longer. We'll use our design expertise to lift your corporate image, and to make the site easy to use. Most importantly, we'll make sure that it worksboth for you and for your customers!