When someone comes to your website for the first time, what are they really there for?
Are they there to learn about your business model? Do they want to know your company's history and how you're the leading in your field? Do they want to know you've been recognized with an industry award?
Maybe, but probably not.
Sure, these things are worth having on your website. They can help someone already deep in the sales funnel differentiate you from your competitors.
But are they reasons to come to your site in the first place? Of course not.
When someone comes to your website for the first time – whether they've heard of you somewhere or they're just pumping keywords into Google – chances are they have a question and they are looking to you for an answer.
Chris Brogan wrote about this recently in his post, "Rethink your web presence." He offered up a series of questions about your site that you need to answer for your audience:
Who do you want me to be?
How will I know that I belong?
What do you want to show/tell me?
What do you want me to do?
How will we keep this relationship going?
How shall I talk of you to my friends?
These are all great questions, and they all require you to step into your customers’ shoes and think hard about whether you are meeting their needs.
Customers will want to know about you at some point, but the first thing they'll want to know is what you can do for them. For the right first impression, focus on their needs. By doing this, you do far more than stick an electronic brochure in front of them; you increase your chances of making a real connection, and sow the seeds of a long-term relationship.
Think about that, and come back next week for some thoughts on how to make it happen.