I just fell in love.
My cursor is quivering.
My browser is sweating.
My fingers are dancing over the keys like no-one’s watching.
I fell in love at first click with a local SEO company because their website is that monumentally good.
(And I’ll explain my definition of ‘monumentally good’ further down the page.)
The case study
Recommended by a friend, I hopped online to see what this biz was all about. 15 seconds later, the love thing happened.
The object of my online affection paid close attention to words and design, creating a stellar virtual experience - akin to popping into their store, browsing, chatting to the owner, being delighted and nabbing a business card on the way out.
The love bit
Their website inspired the warm fuzzies not because it was fancy - an interactive portal of bells, whistles and pan pipes. Nor was it complicated.
It was ‘monumentally good’ because it put me first.
The site was visitor-centric. The content was clear, written in my language and welcoming. They made me laugh. They favoured honesty over hyperbole. They even gave me free tools to do SEO better, myself! Total overachievers. Ugh. Sickening.
Have you ever fallen in love with a brand based on their website?
Landed on a page that grabs you by the lapels (do clothes still have lapels?) and stares deeply into your screen-weary eyeballs?
This is the desired effect of every website.
Love at first click. Sales to match.
Yet few achieve it.
Why don't people take their websites srsly?
Maybe it’s a value thing?
Some small business owners still treat their website as an afterthought.
A client of mine, just yesterday, waved dismissively in the direction of his site - superfluous, a luxury, an annoyance.
Why waste time with words? Why bother telling the story of his business? Design? Functionality? Who cares! For him, it’s real-life or nuttin’.
(Don't worry; we pulled the appropriate piece of brain out through his nose, indoctrinated it and re-implanted it. He can now robotically recite why.websites.matter.)
In-person sure does count.
But those customers? They’ve already done the following:
→ Googled you.
→ Checked out your website.
Taken ONE of TWO paths, like a search-engine-optimized Robert Frost poem.
→ CONNECTED WITH YOUR BRAND, LOVED WHAT YOU’RE ABOUT, SAVED YOUR ADDRESS, SHOWED UP IN PERSON. YEAH! WOO! #greatsuccess
→ Experienced zero feelings and politely hit the back button.
Here’s how to woo suckers like me with yours
→ Start with great design.
Ensure your site is mobile-friendly.
Use large, clear font.
Keep it simple.
Place tabs logically.
Label tabs logically (sometimes it’s tempting to get real clever with page tabs. But ultimately, confused people don’t click. Stick to ‘about’, ‘contact’, ‘services’ - or simple, comprehensible alternatives.)
Include great imagery + professional photos.
→ Take time to craft faaaaaabulous copy.
Ask: what does the person landing on my page need to know?
Place the needs of your visitor front-and-center.
Speak to their problem, their request, their curiosity.
Be personable. Use conversational lingo that creates instant rapport.
Humans connect through story. Tell yours.
Be unexpected. See this post.
Be clear about who you are and what you stand for. Here’s what I mean.
Make it easy for readers to find out: how to get in touch with you, how to buy your stuff, how to visit you in person, how to stalk you on social media - the big ticket items.
Keep your content fresh - update your blog every sometimes. Make it looks like someone lives there.
Do these things? People will land on your website and stick, like pickles on a window.
Here are some sites that tickle my pickle (before sliding down the glass).
Apostrophe Copywriters >>> Badass copywriters who combine clever + clear for maximum effect.
Ben Howland Photography >>> Ben’s website is a shining example of sweet, personal, polite, lovable words + design. If I believed in marriage, I'd hire this guy to shoot it.
Intrepid Travel >>> These folks nail clarity, clickable imagery and adventure-planning. There are zero holes in their site; great words, easy navigation, happy visitors.
This one doesn’t really illustrate my point, but it IS the best website of all time. Agree? (Use the scroll bar at the bottom to see what I mean) >>> Joe Coleman.
That's enough yakkin. Get crackin'. Make the people <3 you.
(Questions? Talk to me in the comments.)