Nobody Cares About You
I visited a site the other day and their homepage was all excited and gushing about their business. They had lots of words about their office, the people, their ethos, methodology and vision. And guess what, nobody cares.
When I visit a website it’s to get information, a service, product or be entertained. If you write a load of guff about Amanda and how she loves Tibetan yak milk in her hand ground Balinese coffee then all you are doing is preventing me from getting to stuff I want.
The only reason I’m on your website is because you have something I want. So logic says your priority should always be to present me the thing I want as soon as I land on the page.
So lets pretend you want to buy some organic royal jelly. You know what you want so you do a search or ask a friend or see an advert for someone selling organic royal jelly. Click on the link and you land on their site.
All you see a load of waffle when what you really want is to see the product.
You could land on a site where the homepage was one of those ginormous hero images with a ‘we are organic bee keepers in the heart of the shires’ type message. You would be none the wiser about if they even sell organic royal jelly. You might try to look for a link (if it’s not been hidden away) or scroll down the page to see if their are any clues but mentally you are already losing interest and may decide to just go back to Google.
Even worse is if you do scroll down and the homepage is full of info about their farms, the beehives, Mary who collects the jelly and Martin who fills the jars and Sharon who makes the labels. It’s all good stuff but what you really want to know is: do you sell organic royal jelly. It’s good to know the farm has a certificate from the BBKA or has been approved by the Soil Association but it doesn’t need to be on the homepage.
Making people care about you
What ever sort of website you have, you need to make sure the focus of every page is the product or services you are selling. As soon as anyone lands on any page they should be able to look at the content and know if you can deliver what they need. You, your vision, philosophy, love of cats and anything else is irrelevant.
Once the visitor has checked you can meet their needs they will look for trust marks and other signals that will convince them you are someone they can do business with. This could be as simple as a local number (if you are a plumber) or a qualification (if you are a chiropractor). If your business is lifestyle related this is where you can link to a page which explains your vegan values or meditative philosophy. This is where you begin to show people that you care about them. Change the words to focus on their needs not yours. If you care about them they will reciprocate and care about you.
If you are a plumber or sell socks it’s the same story. Your words need to convince your prospective customer that you want to help them get the right boiler or the right socks. It’s not easy, copywriting is a skill that can take years to learn.
Go back to your homepage and look take a critical look.
Is is 100% clear within a few seconds what it is you offer?
Do you have to scroll down so see anything useful?
Do you have to click on a link to find out more?
If a visitor wanted to get in contact can they do so without leaving the page?
I’m sure they do wonderful stuff but I don’t know what that stuff is or if it’s any use to me.
Or how about this:
The only reason I’d ever be on their site would be to find out more about or buy cheese. There is nothing on that homepage to suggest where to go next. It’s mystery meat navigation.
And don’t ever stop people even getting to your site by doing this:
Nobody cares about you. All they care about is what you can do for them. So market your products and services not you.