Your homepage is a virtual 15-second elevator pitch. Does yours ramble on?

June 24, 2009

Prior to getting into the whole technology thing, I was a personal trainer (over 17 years) to the rich and famous in New York City and Long Island. In order to survive as a personal trainer with this type of clientele, there was one communication skill that was a MUST…the ability to get to the point.

I am convinced that the concept of the bobblehead came from someone watching a conversation between myself and one of my clients during my first few years of training. Here’s how it probably happened:

1) I would bring up a topic and ramble on about it

2) My client would lose interest after my a few minutes but continue to shake their head in agreement to be polite.

3) Clients head would continue to bob their heads up and down as long as I was talking.

4) An outsider witnessed this exchange and the idea for the bobblehead was born.

Thankfully, one of my clients sat me down and explained the importance of getting to the point. He informed me most business leaders are bombarded every day with ideas, business proposals and other types of pitches. In addition, they have very little patience for small talk as there are so many hours in the day, and so many people vying for their attention.

Needless to say, I have gotten very good at not only getting to the point, but also recognizing the signs when someone has lost interest in a conversation.

Not so subtle Segue.

A companies homepage needs to be as brief and to the point as a face to face elevator pitch. Unlike a human interaction, a homepage does offer the luxury of a direct conversation with regards to being able to recognize that a person is losing interest. They just click away from your site.

It is amazing how many websites, many which look quite impressive and even beautiful, do not express the benefits that can be derived from the site, service or application. They might be chock full of information, but it is not really clear what they do or exactly what problems they solve for their visitors.

Companies are spending huge dollars with SEO experts to ensure they rank high on the major search engines. And/or they retain “social media experts” to help increase their brands exposure and drive more traffic to the website…but is it a waste? All the traffic in the world is pointless if people click away once they get to your site.

It is critical to constantly step outside of your own head, and view your homepage from a visitors standpoint. Does it clearly (and briefly) state your companies benefits and what problems you solve for your visitors? Are your calls to action consistent with your other marketing efforts? Does it take more than 15 seconds to get the gist of the sites offerings?

Openofficespace.com is about a week and a half from launching version 2.0 of our site. While we’d like to think that our initial site accomplished all that is mentioned above, it was only after we stepped back and viewed the site from a different perspective that we came up with “flaw fixers” that we hope will take us to the next level.

Check back often as we have some exciting news to report in the next couple of weeks regarding 3Dwalkthroughs.com.

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