Every Website Must Answer This Question to Be Successful
Author: Jeremy Harrison
In the cult classic film “Office Space,” two consultants, both named Bob, interview employees to figure out how to make Initech a more lean and competitive company, i.e., who can they fire. In one interview, the Bobs go back and forth with Tom Smykowski trying to understand his role with Initech. After several back and forths, one of the Bobs asks, “What would you say…you do here?”
This is the critical question company websites must answer for their prospective customers or risk irrelevance. If your company website doesn’t immediately explain to your customer what it is you do, it’s missing the mark.
Beautiful websites are important, but a beautiful, functional, and clear website will win out, hands down, every time. Here are several key elements that every website should have to make sure your customer knows exactly what it is you do and how you are the business that can help them.
In the Battle between Clarity and Cleverness, Clarity Wins
Our company just launched a brand new website. One of the motivating factors in redesigning our site had less to do with the design and functionality and more to do with this primary issue: nowhere “above the fold” (or on the first full screen of the website) did we mention that we are a business that provides marketing and web design services.
We failed to answer the question, “What would you say you do here?”
Your customer doesn’t have time or the patience to navigate through beautiful language about achieving dreams, having peace of mind, and setting goals; this language is inspirational, but it isn’t specific enough to your business. It could be about life coaching or estate planning. Are you hiring a financial advisor or going to counseling?
In her book Dare to Lead, Brene Brown argues that a key principle of leadership is “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” This applies for websites as well. Somewhere above the fold of your website, you need a header that clearly articulates what you offer. There should also be some kind of statement that states how your business aims to address the problems your customer is facing related to what you offer.
When customers arrive at our website today, they know right away what it is we offer and for what purpose, “Digital Marketing and Websites That Help Your Company Grow” and how customers can benefit from working with us, “Simplify your strategy and get more done with marketing and websites that really hum.”
The first objective of your website is to communicate who you are and what you do. You don’t want to be clever or cute, missing the mark and losing business simply because you were unclear about what you offer. If you’re worried you won’t stand out from the competition, most of your competition isn’t doing this well, either. Get this piece right from the start, and plan to establish what makes you different from competitors, with clarity, throughout the rest of your content.
The importance of clarity extends beyond the first page of your website into all of the content. It needs to be very clear throughout your site what you offer, why it matters, who you are as a business, and where your customer needs to go to take the next step.
Spire focuses on nine essentials every website must have to be effective, including this critical first step of clarity, in every web design project we take on. If you need help answering the Bobs’ question, we can help you create great content that is clear for your target audience. Schedule a call with a member of our team today to learn more.