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Internet Marketing Authors: Elizabeth White, Melih Oztalay, John Khan, Carmen Gonzalez, Neil McNulty

Related Topics: Internet Marketing, Content Marketing Journal, PR on Ulitzer, New Media on Ulitzer, Internet Video, Advertising on New Media, Marketing and Sales, Marketing Automation, Social CRM

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Don’t Keep Your Web Visitors Waiting and Guessing

A Video Company Website That Communicates Poorly

It’s Not Visual. It’s Doesn’t Get Quickly to the Point. It Doesn’t Show How It Can Help
When much of the web was experimental and Web surfing was still recreational, it might have been okay to have a website that was creative for its own sake–even when it was unclear about its purpose.  Not so today. 

We face three key realities that must shape our thinking about a good versus bad website

  • Websites are our most important marketing tool. They will increasingly replace most traditional marketing.  Therefore, you have to get it right.
  • Your prospective online buyers are pressed for time and won’t waste it trying to figure how they will benefit from what you do. 
  • You have just one chance to influence your prospective buyer.  If they are not impressed, they will mosey on down the Internet.

confused orangutangA video company: The website that works poorly
Our supplier of video services shall remain unnamed.  When you arrive at the site you have to wait for flash video to load.  Although it loads pretty quickly, the presence of flash is still an unnecessary barrier to getting the information you need to make a buying decision. The home page itself lacks any description of what the company does or how it will help solve my problems.  We are presented with bouncing vertical lines at the end of which are vertical navigation links which are placed on their side and thus unnecessarily difficult to read.

The name of the company at the top of the site is clever but unclear.  And, although it’s tagline does include the word ‘video,’ as a business owner I would not know for sure what sort of video they are talking about and whether it would be something that would benefit my company.

In fact, you cannot find exactly what the company does until you click on the bouncing ‘about us.’  Then you do get pretty good description of how the company can help.  However, you might already have given up at that point. 

I know what you’re probably thinking: why doesn’t the home page feature a video or at least a still version of a powerful video that you could click on and quickly see that kind of work that they do?  In this case, you have to click on their ‘portfolio’ to access a sample of videos.  But, again, nothing starts right up and you have to work too hard to view any of the examples.

Creative companies often assume that offbeat ‘creativity’ proves that they can deliver a creative solution that will benefit your company.  Unfortunately, almost none of us have the time to investigate what value may lie underneath the surface ‘creativity’.  Unless those elements illustrate precisely how the company will provide solutions, they stand in the way of convincing us that we should become a customer.

Key lessons to learn for an effective website: Be quick. Be Clear. Be Compelling. Be convincing.  Many of your web visitors want to buy. Make that buying decision a no brainer for them.

If you are looking for a great example of a small business website that really nails its, check out our article on Adventure Training Concepts.

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More Stories By Newt Barrett

Newt is a leading thinker on the new discipline of content marketing. He urges marketers to think like publishers by delivering essential, relevant, and timely information that makes customers smarter and wiser–and much more likely to become buyers. Newt is a successful publishing executive with more than 25 years of experience as both a manager and business owner. He has launched profitable publications in the high tech arena for both CMP and Ziff-Davis. He was an early player on the web in 1996 as Publishing Director of an early Yahoo competitor, NetGuideLive. As an entrepreneur, he launched Southwest Florida Business and in the late nineties, later selling them to Gulfshore Media. His publication still thrives under its new name, Gulfshore Business. In addition to his sales and marketing skills, Newt is a published writer for Business Currents and Gulfshore Business magazines. He writes on topics as diverse as healthcare, education, public policy, growth, business best practices, and technology. He knows how to build great brands that serve client marketing needs. He is comfortable driving dramatic market-driven changes. Newt is recognized as a leader with the ability to move teams in new, unexplored directions. He is effective in high level sales and marketing conversations with senior executives in client organizations of all sizes. He delivers successful consulting engagements to improve products, people, and processes.