Does Your Website Have the 5 Abilities? Now With More Meat


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Note: A couple of months ago, I wrote this post for PR Soup. Ever since then, I wanted to add some examples to illustrate my points. So here it is…I’ve taken my Soup post and added some more meat to it. Enjoy!

Since my company is currently undertaking a website redesign project, I’ve been thinking a lot about websites lately – in particular, what makes them successful as a marketing tool. In a quest to learn what other companies have done, I’ve visited dozens upon dozens of business sites for clues to their potential success. And I’ve seen quite a few that I would categorize as the web equivalent of the black pit of despair. What I think I’ve discovered is…

It takes five -abilities to make your site a successful marketing and business development machine.

Justifiability: What do you do and why do I need it?

Your site has to make a convincing and fast value proposition to a potential customer. That means you can’t pummel them with countless feature sets, services, and all the things that YOU think make you great. Know why? Because it’s not about you…it’s about the customer. So you better be able to succinctly describe what your business does and why it matters to them.

Who gets it right: Infochimps

What Infochimps does is simple: they provide an ever-expanding selection of datasets in which businesses can build apps and analytics. It’s right there on their front page. And their data search bar sits prominently just below the header. You can’t miss it or the value you might get from working with this company.

Capability: How will you solve my problem?

While it’s not necessary to go in-depth into how your business works, it is necessary to show you understand your customer’s challenges and then offer how you can uniquely resolve them. Conduct some market studies and learn your core customer’s pain points. Then use their language (not your own cryptic in-house terminology) to demonstrate how you can make their lives easier.

Who gets it right: Silverpop

Marketing automation platforms are a fairly new and fast-growing industry segment so there’s lots of competition out there. I really love how the folks at Silverpop drive home the value of their solution by focusing on how they solve common marketing challenges. Who doesn’t need to increase ROI or conversions? The answers are right there.

Easability: Is it easy to work with you? Is it easy to buy from you?

No matter how incredibly wonderful and life-changing a product or service might be, no one – REPEAT, NO ONE – wants to buy it if it only leads to a painful experience. Your site needs to not only be easy to use and navigate, it needs to mirror just how easy it is to work with you.

Who gets it right: Uservoice

There are plenty of quality services out there with easy to use, freemium models. I just happen to adore how Uservoice does it. I needed to find a quick, yet dependable solution for collecting feature requests for my company. Within 5 minutes I was signed up and didn’t need to give any credit card info to do it. That’s truly making it easy for me to get to know your service.

Credability: Can I trust you?

We all know that trust is a cornerstone of business. Prospects want to know that your company isn’t some fly-by-night operation that’s not going to deliver on promises. It’s why so many sites have those areas on their home page showing logos from companies they serve. That immediately implies credibility by getting us to think, “Well if [Company X] trusts them, I can too.”

Who gets it right: Radian6 and Spiceworks

It’s pretty standard issue for companies to show the logos of their best customers. What I like about these two companies is they go beyond this to build greater levels of immediate trust. When Radian6 tells me that half of all Fortune 100 companies use them, that gets my attention. And when Spiceworks shows me how many IT pros and companies are using their services right now, that instills a sense of comfort in users. When this happens, taking the next step toward a sales contact just got a lot easier.

Dependability: Will you be there when I need you?

Just like credibility, prospects want to know that once they make the decision to work with you they’re not going to regret it. They want to know that you’re there when something doesn’t work. They want to know that you’re listening when they have an idea or suggestion. They want to know you’re going to be a partner in their success.

Who gets it right: Solarwinds

Because of their business model, Solarwinds is all about offering great support in several different methods. Their thwack user community is strong with most issues handled peer-to-peer. They also have a multitude of videos, docs, and other support resources in addition to actual live customer support. You know when you work with Solarwinds, someone has your back. And that’s a very good thing if your business is dealing with skeptical and anxious IT pros.

Take a look at your site and ask whether it meets these five criteria. If not, what can you do right now to change that? I guarantee it will be worth your time and effort.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Chris Bailey
Marketing and Customer Experience Designer at Bailey WorkPlay. Chris's extensive experience in marketing, consumer behavior, social science, communications, and social media helps nearly any type of business connect with its customers.


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