When a prospect lands on your website how long will it take them to understand who you are and what you do? While having a "cool looking" website may be nice, it won't do you any good if you message is not clear. Oversimplification leads to ambiguity and that is not something you want for your brand.
Successful branding yields benefits such as increased customer loyalty, an improved image, and a relatable identity. (TSL Marketing) In the video below, I share about the dangers of oversimplification and why clarity in your messaging is essential for your brand.
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So, there has been a trend online for the last couple of years focused on simplifying. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Now, I'm a big believer in keeping things simple, but I think we need to be cautious of this trend as well, because I've noticed something on a lot of websites that has raised some questions for me and I know is going to produce the exact opposite results I think that businesses want to create.
So, in the early days of the internet, we would have just this big page. Maybe you'd have a logo here and some navigation and just content. Text, text, text, text, text, text, text, text, maybe some links and that sort of thing. Now, I'm fully on board with understanding that this is probably not the best way to go, but what has happened today is a lot of brands are opting for some logo, maybe some navigation, hero sections, I love hero sections, but some simple term, and maybe a call to action.
Now, while this may look cool, a lot of times what happens is there is not enough context, so you go to a page like this and it may look nice but you have no idea what the business does. You have no idea what the product is, you have no idea what they're selling, what they're servicing. Even scrolling down there are just some of big ideas of problems they're facing or problems they're trying to solve, and I understand that you now want to get to the why and define what that is.
Though the thing that people are going to be looking for when they first come to your sight, especially if they click on a link in search, is can you solve my problem, and if they come to your sight and they say “This looks cool but I have no idea what it is,” more times than not they're not going to dig deeper, they're going to leave. So, when we're simplifying our content, when we're simplifying our websites, we really need to put ourselves in the shoes of our users, and start to think about it ourselves.
I was having a conversation the other day with somebody about this. You know, they have a software product and very beautiful site. The problem was it was presenting ambiguous messaging. I asked them “If you came to a website and you were looking for a software to solve your problems and it didn't tell you right when you got there that this is what they're going to do, would you stay or would you leave?” Well, they would leave because that's not solving their problems, and they don't really want to spend a lot of time trying to figure out who these people are. So, simplify, absolutely, but when you simplify make sure you're focusing on the main thing.
Yes, people are finding whys, and they're doing a lot of things emotionally, but a lot of reasons they're coming to your site, looking for new products, looking for other options or services is they're trying to find a what. What can solve my problem? And then they'll tie that into the why, to make more of an argument of why they should buy it, but the first thing they're asking for is what. What is this? What will it do? What will it do for me? That needs to go front, center, clear, here. Don't be afraid of content. Add content to your site. It helps context for the search engines. It helps the users understand what you do. Don't be afraid of content, but just think of ways that you can lay it out in a more user-friendly, reader-friendly way.
People are smart. We got to give them some credit. They do want to understand what we do, and we need to give them enough content and enough context to really understand. That's going to help you in search, that's going to help you in your marketing, that's going to help you tell your story, and ultimately it's going to help people be more connected to your brand. If you've got any questions, please comment below. We'd love to continue the conversation, and until next time, Happy Marketing.
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