There is one area of your website that is always there and customers the world-wide-web overall look in the same place to find out what a particular website has to offer. The header. We look there when we first arrive to understand what type of site we are on, we look there when we have questions to see if contact info is available, we look there for help when we get confused about almost anything. Your header needs to answer your customers’ basic questions immediately. All customers who arrive at your site as the result of a search want to know they are in the right place and you have only a few seconds to set them at ease and get their fingers off of the ‘back’ button.
Does your website give the answers to these questions in three seconds or less?
1. Who are you? (You would be amazed how many websites make their visitors dig around to find out the name of the company!)
2. What do you do? (Again, the number of visitors who are forced to assume your site sells a product rather than just talks about it is ridiculous. Be clear!)
3. Why should I buy from you, not the other guy?
All three questions are equally important, without one and two the game is over early, but question three really is the kicker. Why should I buy from you? Why should I buy right now? Why should I buy at all? These are the question a salesman has to answer completely before he can hope to close the deal. If you offer the best price, that is really the reason I should buy from you. How long should a customer have to wait to find out this important piece of information? If you offer the best quality or fastest service or most generous return policy you should be telling the world, whatever it is that sets you apart from the rest, that should be on page one front and center.
Look around at some websites that incorporate good on-site marketing messages.
Walmart.com Their message could not be more clear. “Save money, live better.” That gem of simplicity is followed up with “Low prices, every day, on everything.”
Apple.com The king of simplicity wants only one thing on customers’ minds, the iPad 2. They answer the third question with: “Thinner. Lighter. Faster”
You know immediately when you view these marketing giants who they are, what they sell and why you would be crazy not to give them your money. Let’s look at some smaller company websites to see how their message is or is not instantly communicated.
Trek bicycles has a strong logo right where it belongs so you know who you’re dealing with, and the images and text that let me know what they do are nothing short of in-your-face. As for question three, maybe the answer is “Because we are so awesome”?
Performance Bike‘s logo includes the word bicycles so questions one and two are answered in one shot. The huge 70% off banner dominating the entire front and center portion of the page make the answer to question three clear.
Make sure your website communicates quickly. Don’t hesitate to tell your customers you want their money, they already know that so stop making it hard to give it to them. Don’t let your website confuse and confound willing customers. Use your header to communicate the important info so that you know it will always be the one thing you can count on every visitor seeing.