I have saturated my recent writings with feeble attempts to prove, to the higher up’s, the power of the blog with regards to SERP’s. I wrote about a local auto dealer having problems with slanderous reviews and then about national orthotic chain experiencing buyer remorse, to no avail. I did get ranked well, but not enough to make a difference.
Now, I have a new pet peeve to discuss, layout and design of landing pages and web sites. The latest trend is to make a page “conversion friendly”. As a business owner I need to insure that my site will be able to serve it’s purpose, SALES! But, at what cost are we making these pages “conversion friendly”?
At first glance you might disagree with the direction of my thoughts but stay with me. I know that a page/site needs to be able to sell, what about looks? The first thing we used to do was to judge a site on appearance. Nowadays, business owners have learned that looks don’t sell online. Lets go back to the conversion points. Does a site have to lose it’s curb appeal in order to convert business?
The answer is NO! NO! NO!
I am an internet marketer first, but I am also a consumer and do have certain expectations of those businesses and services I patronize. When you shop do you buy generic foods? They are competitively priced, but look at the package,bland and plain. Now, move down the aisle there is the same product by a different manufacturer, higher priced, but a more flashy package and presentation. Many shoppers buy status as well as price.
Back to the web site, will consumer buy from a site that is lower cost and visibly stale, or will the consumer choose the aesthetics over price?
I think you can see where this is going. Many businesses, in an attempt to cut cost will also cut creativity. This will impact the bottom line the same way that the generic brand is passed up for the name brand.
The addition of conversion points on site(s)/pages doesn’t mean you have abandoned all creativity. There are many ways to incorporate the conversions and looks.
First, start at the top of your page/site, use a header that portrays who you are and what you do. Once you have chosen that focal point you can go back and implement the tools needed to convert.
Second, use multi media (audio;video) if you have a commercial add it to your site to make it more interactive, and if you have recorded a radio spot use it. The testimonials page doesn’t have to be all words, record a client or customers testimonial. By using multi media formats on your site/page you reinforce, that original formats presentation. When you use a video or audio testimonial you immediately tap into the “trust” factor. Let technology into your site don’t fight it.
Third, this maybe the most important. Use your owncontent, do not surf the phone book looking at what your competitors do and add that to your service list. Believe it or not originality is always the best. If you have a vision, share it with your web designer. How many cookie cutter web site do you see everyday? They all seem to look like the next site and the one you saw before that one. BE ORIGINAL. Web designers know how to make a site that sells, but they don’t know that you have a vision of a completely unconventional look or feel.
In conclusion, the next time you patrolling the online aisles take a look at how many site follow the same format/layout. Take a look at how many web designers cared more about function and less about presentation.