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Miserable First Dates and the First Website Visit

September 25th, 2013 by Arik Brooks


 

They Don't Even Try

Imagine being on a first date and your date walks through the door in clothes that do not match, hair that is a hot mess, and an overall disorganized look. Even worse, every one of their sentences is spoken at a different volume and their accent keeps changing. You would think this person is a total loon. We have all seen websites that are doing all of the above. These websites have no color standards, the graphics are poor, there is no visual or contextual organization, and there are so many fonts and tones of voice that it's as if the site was designed by a whole team of rookies, all with different ideas.

Design matters! Especially during the first, most important, website visit. In this visit, your date is either going to say to themselves, "this is a legit company" or "this company is a train wreck." During a first date, you get dressed up and try to look your best, right? Well, in the same way, you should make sure that your website is representing your company in the best possible way. If you have a poorly designed and coded website, imagine how many potential customers you are losing.

How to Be a Better Date

TAKE. YOUR. WEBSITE SERIOUSLY! Make an investment in it. It is your most important marketing vehicle, and this investment will pay for itself easily. People are using search engines to find the products or services you offer. If you are found on a search engine, what are these potential customers seeing? Before and/or after a sales meeting, what do you think the prospect is doing? They are researching your website. So, make sure that you are putting your best foot forward. Accounts receivable will thank you for it.


Over-Talkers

Ever been on a date where the person talks too much? It's as if they would rather hear themselves talk. They talk so much that you remember almost nothing. In fact, you are probably not listening. Many websites are so copy-heavy that they are intimidating to look at. The goal of most websites (excluding e-commerce sites) should be to provide just enough information to nurture or capture a lead, and continue the sales process. No one wants to read endless pages of copy to see if your company offers a solution for their needs. This is especially true during the initial phases of the buying process.

How to Be a Better Date

Limit your words and choose your words wisely. Most of the time, you can develop a much larger impact by reducing words than spending time crafting the words and statements that remain. Remember, you are not trying to provide a college-level course on every feature and function that you offer. Say just enough and no more. You should also consider breaking up the points into "bite size" chunks. You can separate single points graphically on the page or by moving different points to other pages within the navigation. Lastly, if you can create a video or videos, then do it. If the videos are done well, they are incredibly effective. By using voice-overs, presenters, graphics, animations and related B-Roll, a video can say and show so much more than pages upon pages of written text.


Seinfield's "a Two Face"

In an episode of Seinfield, Jerry dated a woman that sometimes looked great, but other times appeared unattractive, depending on the viewer's angle or lighting. Like this "Two Face," many companies have websites that look great on a desktop computer. But, when the viewer's angle changes (i.e., they look at the website from a different device, like a tablet or smartphone), the website suddenly seems a lot less attractive. Many of the nicely designed features are now ugly, broken, or unusable due to their small size.

How to Be a Better Date

Get a mobile optimized presence. The growth of mobile is stunning, so don't get left behind. Your email signature probably has your website link in it. Potential customers are using their phones to search the Web. There are QR codes being used in ads. People see your ad in a variety of media, then quickly grab their convenient phone to learn more about your product or service. So, every time you send an email, or your website is an option in an Internet search, or someone sees your ad, there is a chance to get a new website visit. There is a very good chance that this first website visit will be viewed on a mobile device. So, knowing this, be a good date and look your best at every angle.

 

 

Posted in the categories Design, Mobile, Technology.

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