15 Feb Why your web site isn’t marketable
I’ve had multiple conversations in the past few days about the foundations of web design in a marketing-centric world, and it’s very interesting to hear other people’s take on the effectiveness of web site design. I’ve talked to one who was completely downplaying site design and instead focusing on content mostly, and on the other extreme, I’ve had back and forth discussions with one whom site design is the key to a relevant marketable site. So, is there a right or wrong answer? While I believe that relevant content is definitely going to keep the user in the site, the design plays a role in determining whether or not the user is going to even want to try to stay there. Here’s my 2 cents:
1) 3 second rule. The 3 second rule should be an indicator of your initial site marketability from a user standpoint. When the user gets to your site – regardless of how they got there – will the design ensure them that it is visually appealing to stay there? Is the design clean that makes the content visible and desirable? Once the user knows that design visually keeps them interested, will your content stimulate their intellect?
2) Bad positioning. Following closely to the 3 second rule, positioning contents and elements on your site are keys to targeting and engaging your user, especially within that 3 second window. If your primary content isn’t placed well within that time window and within that browser window space, chances are, you’re not going to get them interested quickly in your products and services. Time is money, especially in today’s economy.
3) Bad content. While we’re at content development, let’s talk about the marketing aspect of your content. I’ve seen some pretty bad content out there, and funny thing is, some of it was written specifically to produce traffic of the site. Blogs written with poor messages and your typical insult commentator is going to create havoc on the site by posting crap comments. And let’s face it, some bad content out there are just that bad that it makes for a very traffic-heavy site – JUST to make fun of. In addition to bad content substance, horrible writing is another issue. Granted, spell checks are not necessarily very accurate, but it at least provides the content writer with another chance to make changes to your spelling issues before publishing.
4) Outdated anything. Marketing anything takes a lot of effort and time to conduct, plan, and implement. Staying fresh in a high-tech, high-speed world takes just as much effort and time to conduct, plan, and implement as well, especially on a business / enterprise scale. You HAVE to be relevant and up-to-date in your products, services, and offerings in order to succeed in business. This includes content, design, marketing methods, and so on and so forth. Being relevant doesn’t have to be on the latest trends or be totally on the forefront, because even then that takes a lot of manpower and resources. However, it does mean to utilize the necessary entities that will create more exposure, more brand awareness, and ultimately more revenue for your business – whatever technological or marketing entity that may be.
5) Wrong niche, wrong product. Either you’re marketing yourself and your products/business in a market that is too saturated with high rollers or you’re marketing products / business in the wrong market niche for you. Expand to local markets, different age/gender/economic geomarkets (and other variables) to increase your market share. Use your web site to showcase your products to a more targeted audience and/or market, even if it is a less-saturated market niche. It may be a small pond compared to an ocean, but your voice will be louder and clearer to those in that pond. And the less you have to compete to get your voice heard, the more you can build relationships with your customers.
6) You’re snooty. Speaking of relationships, great businesses build brands based on relationships with their customers. If you have an online presence with its nose high up in the air as Paris or LiLo, regardless of market niche, then you may not be able to present a great relationship structure to your audience, even to Paris or LiLo. Why? Because a standoff-ish presence doesn’t make people want to converse and/or have a relationship/friendship with them, and you can transpose that in how your web presence generates itself to your audience.
I’m sure there are more to add on this list, but this is something to at least get started on. In fact, I would love for you to comment and give me more on why one’s site is not marketable, or vice versa. Would love to hear your thoughts!