Stop Redoing Your Website and Read This

In one of our last posts for Telus Talks Business, we discussed how redoing a website can challenge your business model. We highlighted three company examples of businesses that quickly realized why repackaging and repositioning what they do and how they do it on the web was making them rethink what they sell and how they sell it.

knockknock

In doing research for this post, we came across a great resource that everyone who is considering redoing a website, should read before they do it.  Knock knock by Seth Godin is not only helpful, it’s liberating.

Here’s why:

Godin highlights three questions you must answer on every single page you build:

  1. Who’s here?
  2. What do you want them to do?
  3. How can you instantly tell a persuasive story to get them to do #2?

If you can’t pull off #3, then don’t bother building a page. Or a website for that matter.

Your website is a series of steps…

…steps people take in the buying process to make a decision to buy something.  Your website should reflect this on every page as the pages are put together to tell a story. You need to not only tell that story as persuasively as possible but you need to think about your site in terms of who is there and what you want them to do. This is the number one problem with sites today that are under-producing in business results: websites need to encourage people to do something when they visit a site. If the content is not compelling enough to get them to pick up the phone and call you, then what else have you got?
Let’s use this example:

  • A company sells audio visual equipment; a competitive space full of people who sell and set up equipment. This company needs to use their website to sell the vision of what a company is trying to achieve when they buy audio visual equipment – a collaborative ecosystem for their employees. This means their business model changes. It’s no longer just about recommending equipment and setting it up. It needs to be about selling the value of achieving business goals and outcomes.

searchresultWhen I search for “audio visual equipment”, here are the search results I get:

  • I see results coming back that provide me with the top three companies paying for AdWords (yellow box).
  • I see the local search results.
  • And if I had scrolled down the page I would have seen AV companies from across Canada.

I click on the first organic search result rank1and here is what I get:

jerry

Jerry’s site looks pretty much like the next ten – companies hawking AV equipment and trying to get interested parties to their sites because they have a deal on a particular unit. I can’t buy the equipment from the sites I visited and I had to dig pretty hard to even find a way to contact the company. Finding them on Facebook did little for me as well as a business owner.
So if everyone is selling equipment and the only differentiating factor is price, what are my choices as a buyer?

Let’s go back to Seth Godin’s three questions:

  1. Who’s here?
  2. What do you want them to do?
  3. How can you instantly tell a persuasive story to get them to do #2?

Would you buy from Jerry?

Of the entire page of search returns, here is the only page that caught my attention:avquote

  1. Who’s here? Event planners.
  2. What do you want them to do? Get started planning their event. The” Get Started” button goes to a simply designed page that allows me to enter the details of my event that is coming up and what I might require. It’s even right in the URL – avquote.com. The singular purpose of this site is to get an AV quote.
  3. How can you instantly tell a persuasive story to get them to do #2? By making me feel like a VIP, that I am “in the club” and simply stating why I should work with AVQuote. This is available right on the home page; no assumptions about products, price or clutter that I may or may not want, just a cleanly stated request for details about my event.

Is AVQuote in the business of selling and renting AV Equipment? Yes. But the story they are telling to engage a prospective customer is direct and it’s specific. They likely have to rethink how they price their products and services to accommodate the event consulting they have to deliver up front at the beginning of this process but they are not just about equipment at the lowest price. The way they package and sell their services is impacted by who, what and how.
Today, small business owners need to consider the importance and value of their website and web presence. They also need to consider that anyone who comes up ahead of them in a search result is a competitor. Before you redo your website, do yourself a huge favour and answer Seth Godin’s three questions. You will not only save yourself time and money you will make it back in spades because the end product will set you apart in the marketplace and have droves of customers knocking at your website home page.

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