3 ways to end website content confusion

Don't lose your customers with confusing contentHere is a very quick test to run on your website.

If someone who knew nothing about your site were to visit it for the first time, would they know immediately what it was about and what it had to offer?

This is important because you have only a few seconds to impress your website visitors with your content.  If you miss that golden opportunity, you could also lose out on a sale.

It is easy to overlook or forget the aim of your website, especially if it has been up and running for a long time or you have added more or new products or services over the years – or even dabbled with different business ideas.

If your website is confusing, you have probably adapted to this by finding ways to ‘work with what you have’.  Unfortunately, customers with little time and even less patience may not be so forgiving – and are unlikely to stick around long enough to unearth your hidden gems.

Here are three proven ways to end content confusion today, and give new or returning customers what they want.

1) Know your website’s purpose

Strip your website down (in your mind, on a piece of paper, or onscreen) to its essentials, in other words, decide what it is for.  The more focused your website’s purpose, the easier it will be for you to do this.

Write down a few words to describe the purpose or aim of your website.  Spend time adding words, or changing them, until you have a sentence or list – totaling up to 20 words.  Focus on these words and refer to them as you re-shape or create your website content.

2) Communicate your website’s purpose

Now share your website’s purpose with your visitors.  Remember that customers need to quickly understand what you are offering – and how they can benefit.

If you can, use your company or website name to spell out what your website is offering.  If the name alone doesn’t shed any light, add a strapline or some prominent explanatory text. These simple steps will eliminate guesswork, and ensure you don’t miss out on valuable traffic – and custom.

If you are working with a designer on launching a new site or overhauling an old one, share the purpose of your website with your designer as early on as possible so that s/he can work with you on a design that complements the text and the site’s purpose.

3) Tell people what to do next

Don’t assume that your web customers will know how to find, order or use your products or services – or that they will automatically know the best way to contact you.

Always share your ‘call to action’ information, on as many web pages as possible.

If you would like customers to call you for a free quote, then say so.  If you want them to fill in a form to receive a free newsletter, tell them.  Do you want your customers to visit your online catalogue by a particular date so that they can claim a discount?  Let them know.

Hand your customers the information they need on a silver platter – in other words, do everything you can to make it easy for them to read, understand and take action.

Post written by DEBBIE THOMAS on 4 May 2011.

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