Your website works as your spokesperson presenting the message you wish to convey. Thinking in terms of this analogy often helps you to look at your website from a different angle and make visitor-friendly changes.
Imagine a situation – you have to make an announcement about an exciting event or an opportunity. You have appointed a spokesperson to make a presentation on your behalf to an audience consisting of invitees, interested persons, and on-lookers. How would you like her to perform? Your website should do the job of a real, living spokesperson. The following considerations will make your website more presentable.
1) Main Theme – The presentation in the above example has been organized for a particular occasion. Similarly, each webpage should be built around a particular theme. It doesn’t help if too much information is given on a webpage on seemingly unrelated issues.
2) Fast-Opening – You would certainly not like your spokesperson to be late and make your audience impatient. When a visitor clicks the URL of your webpage or is redirected there, the webpage should open real fast. Your webpage gets just a few seconds to engage your visitor’s attention. You would like your visitors to spend those few seconds looking at your webpage rather than waiting for the webpage to open.
3) Appearance – The spokesperson should have a pleasant appearance and should wear a welcoming smile. This is to ensure that the audience is not put off even before the start of the presentation. Your webpage should have a pleasant, inviting appearance to attract your visitor. If the spokesperson is very gorgeous looking, she will distract the attention of the audience from the real issue. Your website should avoid loud graphics and distracting colors so that the visitor remains focused on the main theme.
4) Make Text Interesting – You would like your spokesperson to use clear, flowing language, keep the audience interested, and gradually lead them to the main theme. The presentation should be interactive, made lively by stories, snippets, etc. A monotonous speech should be avoided. All these ideas can be incorporated while designing the website. The text should be broken into small paragraphs of 4-5 sentences or less, subtitles should be added for clarity, keywords should be made bold. These are some ideas to make the text more readable. Often a visitor will see only titles and subtitles. Therefore, on their own, the title and subtitles should convey the basic message.
5) Highlight Benefits – Other methods can be used to make the audience interested. The audience is really interested in what benefits they will derive; therefore this point should be highlighted sufficiently. The visitor to a website is interested in what is there for her. The potential benefits to the visitors should form a part of the main theme. This is an important consideration and cannot be over-emphasized.
6) Free gifts or Bonus – The audience attending the conference can be given gifts – after all, they are investing their time for the presentation. The website can also offer several incentives to the visitors and lure them to visit again and again. Free e-books, subscriptions to newsletters, links to related resources, articles, and additional information are some of the simplest incentives that can be offered to the visitor.
7) Anticipate Questions – When a question is put up to the spokesperson, she should accept it with understanding showing that she had been expecting the question and was prepared to answer it. This approach will re-assure the audience as they develop the feeling that “everything has been taken care of”. While designing a website anticipated questions should be compiled and answers should be provided. It may be helpful to provide separate pages displaying common questions and answers.
8) Testimonials – After the end of the presentation, very few people are likely to sign-up immediately. Those who are still interested after the presentation would like to take some time to decide. They are likely to seek additional information and confirmation of the information already provided. The spokesperson should clearly spell out how easy it would be to get any further information. Visitors to the website often re-visit several times before they take any decision, particularly the decisions involving money transactions. Testimonials and endorsements appearing on the website are very effective in getting a favorable response from the visitors.
9) Follow-Up – During a presentation, it is common practice to register the names and other details of the participants. This information can be used to follow-up with them by sending further messages. The website should be used to perform a very important function of capturing names and e-mail addresses of interested persons for following-up with them.
Thinking of the website as a spokesperson adds a human dimension with which we are more familiar. Reviewing your website from a new angle can reveal ways of improving it.