A website will say a lot about your business. It can give people a clear indication of how much thought you put into your brand, and to having a website in the first place. But can your website say too much about you, so that it is too focused on you, and not enough on your website visitors – your target audience?
“For many businesses, and especially professional services in the legal, finance and management sectors, their first instinct is to use a website to give out a lot of information, and to focus this information on themselves,” explains Lucy Atkins, Creative Director of Infused Media.
“In modern life, people suffer from information overload, so for your website to cut through the data fog, requires clarity combined with conciseness. But most importantly, you must use it to address your audience’s concerns”
Are You Approachable?
Obviously, your company’s website is going to be about your business. But is the focus on your customers?
“It is easy to fall into the trap of creating web content that’s very centred on the workings of the business. To an extent, this is a natural response, but it’s the wrong one,” warns Lucy.
“Websites should perform a valuable function in demonstrating how the business’ services, or products, can solve problems or address issues that their customers have”
“These are the types of things that people key into Google and are looking for the answers to,” she says.
If a website is too tied up with describing detail – the nuts and bolts – then it may be failing to look at the issues its visitors have, and how to address them.
“It ends up that you are talking at your audience, not communicating with them,” Lucy suggests. “Some company detail is important, but you should balance it with taking a more thoughtful view of your audience.
“This shift in perspective makes a business more approachable, and helps to build trust,” Lucy points out. “For many professional services, such as accountants or law firms, this can differentiate them from the competition.
Can You Keep Things Simple?
The web usability consultant, Jakob Nielsen PhD, has used eye-tracking software in his research which found that users read 20% of words on a website page. At most.
“A common-sense approach to website usability should involve paring down the content to the essentials, observes Lucy. “The human brain is wired to prefer simplicity. It makes it easier for us to process information, and to follow reasoned arguments.”
“Research from Google and the University of Basel suggests that simple websites are far more appealing than complicated ones”
“People can perceive whether a site is complicated or simple in less than a second,” warns Lucy.
“It comes down to knowing to only include the essentials, to maximise that crucial first impression,” Lucy concludes, “and, knowing what these essentials should include, to appeal to your target audience.”
To ensure that your website makes a crucial first impression:
- Call Infused Media on 01254 447050
- Visit infusedmedia.co.uk
- See how Infused Media did it for other businesses here
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