Clarity is the most important factor that can make or break achieving a goal. Being extremely clear on what you are and what you sell makes it easier to create a message that will appeal to your ideal customers.
Before we talk about clarity on business websites, let’s talk about a human brain and its main functions.
The brain has main priorities:
#1 Survive – in order to survive, the brain needs to get rid of excess information. This means constantly categorise all information into “I need” and “I don’t need” departments. The “I need” department gets further review and attention while “I don’t need” department is wiped away immediately without a second thought.
#2 Conserve Calories – we need a certain amount of calories for our bodies to function. When we think, we burn calories, therefore we are taking the calories from our physical needs. Naturally, the brain tries to conserve the calories to process only information in the “I need” department and only if absolutely necessary.
Therefore if you present a human brain with a confusing message, the brain shuts down and refuses to process the information.
How can you avoid this?
Present The Information In Plain Words And Bite Size Pieces.
In my experience, most companies are trying to show off their knowledge and expertise in their industry when writing content for the website. The truth is, however, that kind of language may be good for a blog, but on a business website they end up talking over their visitor’s heads.
Your customers come from so many different backgrounds and levels of education, it is crucial to make sure every level is catered for, and not be arrogant, or assume they will guess what you are talking about. Remember, the moment you asked your customers to assume anything (ie: start thinking), their brains will shut you off, losing you potential business. So don’t overwhelm them. Give just basic information, in plain language and keep the specs for the “more info” section.
Have An Easy To Understand Tagline
The best place to clearly explain what you do or sell is the tagline. Its format should tick all the boxes within the brand clarity requirements: it must be short, to the point and easy to understand. Keep in mind we are in the racing game for our customers’ attention. One mistake a lot of businesses make is not actually using their tagline to explain what they are, instead, they opt for vague analogies and try to appear quirky and smart. Using a vague cliche tagline like “Redefining Standards” by a generic telecommunications company means absolutely nothing. In fact, you are very unlikely to be redefining any standards when it comes to closer inspections, why not just say “We Provide Reliable Office Phone Systems”, I bet there will be so many more contact form submissions due to just this small change! Don’t get poetic. Say it clearly! It is much more difficult than you might think.
The next point to mention is the placement of the tagline. Avoid using it on a home page banner, not all visitors land on your homepage. The best place for a tagline is on your website header that is clearly visible on every page as it opens.
Include An Obvious Direct Call To Action
Let’s presume your tagline is clear and your customer’s brain already sorted this information into the “I need” department. This is the time when you take advantage of the momentum and create a sense of urgency to convert this decision into a purchase or a lead. A Buy now, Register Now, Contact us Now, Shop now, Limited sale – this should be an obvious button to press. Literally in your face. Make it easy for an excited customer to take action and get one step closer to that product or service that will solve their problem.
But watch out for having too many unnecessary buttons and links, like F.A.Qs, About Us, Technical Specs etc. This will just make the brain work too hard and we know that it is the opposite to what the brain wants- so, back to basics- do not overwhelm it.
If you go back to your website and add a clear tagline and an obvious direct call to action, your online sales will increase dramatically just from those two changes.
Use Smart Imagery
Images speak better than words and they are extremely important for your marketing message. When you are choosing the images for your website, choose positive images that picture the success that your customers will have by using your product or service. Your customer will identify with the positive messages that promise a resolution of their internal conflict. If I am a customer looking at a dentist’s website, I want to see people smiling happily, not those suffering from pain. So think about showing the wonderful results that await your customers, not pictures of your products or photos of your place of business, at least not on the homepage or in the header. There are some types of websites, like clothes shops and accessories that have to showcase their products, but for those types of businesses, I recommend investing in a good photoshoot with happy looking models representing the joy of having these products. The images on your website must show a happy ending to your customer’s story.