“Hello, Bridget? It’s Broken Website Bob. I have a problem; I think my website is broken. I can see that people come to my site and they don’t ever contact the sales team. I have this great website and it doesn’t seem to be working. I need your help!”
Your website isn’t generating leads, people are leaving your website soon after they show up, or even worse… no one is coming to your website. Ever. I can feel the frustration or downright sadness over the phone as I work to triage the situation. I hear it often; the stories vary but the theme is always the same.
In this series I’d like to address a few key players in “Reasons Your Website is Broken.” I'll also go through how to rethink your approach towards the problem and help you come up with a solution.
Scenario 1- “But my website has tons of great content!”
In my mind, you should only attribute the phrase the more the merrier to girl scout cookies and not your website content. It can be extremely challenging to define what your company does. Translating that into your website can be even more difficult (heck, that’s why they hire people to do it).
If I have to read through a bunch of content to understand what your company does, I’m going to give up (and so will your audience, unfortunately). Time and time again I tell my clients to take the less is more approach with their website content. Don’t send me clicking through your homepage to connect the dots on why I should reach out to you, shop with you, or buy from you.
Self diagnosis time
If someone looks at your company homepage and after 10 minutes of browsing asks, “what do you do?” this may be why your website is broken. Here are a few key questions I ask to help get the wheels turning. These questions also provide a great starting point for how you define your business on your homepage:
1. How is your company different?
This one goes along with your value statement. Get it out in the open from the beginning. What does your company do to help your clients? Make sure your audience knows with several impactful sentences what you do and how you help. Cut down on the content clutter and cut straight to the chase. When you ask your audience to read through multiple paragraphs to get to the point, they’ll likely leave your site (and check out the competition).
2. Who is your audience? (you’ve got to speak their language)
Who are you trying to attract to your website? You’re going to need a different tone to your content for a c-suite executive working in oil and gas vs. a generation y- marketer. Writing content for your buyer personas will help guide your content; it can also make sure you are staying on target to reach the right traffic.
3. What do you want to happen?
This sounds pretty simple, but that’s the point; make it simple. Trust me. If you want your audience to sign up for a consultation or read more about your specific services, then make it clear. When you use too many words for the actionable items on your website, people get confused. When you keep in mind what you want the outcome to be, you keep your website more focused on action and clarity and less on heavy text.
Taking a 30,000 foot view of your site can often reveal more than a close inspection. The goal is not to strip all the content off your site (Google has to be able to find you after all). The goal is to write targeted content that tells your story to the right audience and gets them to do the right things.
Telling your message in multiple paragraphs with just slightly different words will not make your business more clear to your audience. On the other hand, it will confuse them and send them navigating away from your url.
So, do you have too much content on your website? What will you do to change it?