upstream marketing

Effective design II - your visitors aren't fish

Unlike our water-bound friends, humans can't look in two directions at once and make much sense of the world (if you're truly interested in this topic, Google 'stereopsis'). Your visitor's eye path must be considered carefully - this includes page element 1] size  2] position  3] colour  4] shape and  5] motion. Yes motion.

Want to build a website for creatures with independent eye movement & zero interest in what you offer? Include lots of brightly coloured animation, include getaway links in your introductory copy, don't whisper that you have a value proposition (that scares the little guys away), and create lots of spaces to hide. It must be easy, because we see these methods employed all the time - sites that send customers running for shore with arms waving, yelling "shark!".

Lets look at this another way: speech, the most 'human' of all forms of communication, occurs in the domain of time.... So what would happen if we were to walk into a conference room where three presentations were occuring at the same time? How about five? Could you follow any one of them effectively? After a few minutes, would you turn tail & leave in bewilderment? Now, how about a sign-up or quote form with 15 fields presented to your customer at once? How about equal weight given to two options: Buy Now | Read Our Blog ?

Are you starting to see the problem with commonly accepted web design practices?

The goal isn't building a website, it's building an online business.

The most common mistake is putting design before your goal. Visitors to your site aren't likely there to see design, no matter how gorgeous it may be. They arrive via a search engine, backlink or paid ad, looking for a product, a service, an answer to a question, media, or information. Actually, they're distracted by design.

Your goal is the sale of your product, getting a visitor to turn into a subscriber, or to teach the visitor. You have to keep the goal in mind before & during the design phase of your website - and don't let it be dictated by a design team - this isn't an art project.

Solution: talk to us about Sight Flow Interruption and Conversational Design, and how being unaware of these concepts is affecting your ROI this very minute.

The power of (in)effective copywriting

Does your company's tagline read something like this?  

“Cutting Edge Value-Added Solutions For Integrated, Mission Critical Strategies.”

Uh oh. Your visitor's eyes just glazed over with the vacant stare of a dairy cow. Can you imagine how this impacts your business? Jargon-based corporate speak is still all-too common. Clichés and statements with no marketplace meaning undermine your brand AND your bottom line.

Upstream marketing helps you rediscover your business, your USPs (Unique Selling Propositions) - what they mean to you, and your all-important customers.

PS: Let's look at two examples of short copy, both telling us about the same product:

1 ] “Made with Mr. Sanders' special breadcrumb mix.”
2 ] “Prepared fresh using the Colonel's secret blend of 11 herbs & spices.”

Which makes your mouth water for a leg of chicken?   Why? (Hint: there are eight tasty reasons.)
By the way, that stuff'll kill ya.

What the heck is 'conversion testing'?

...and why will understanding conversion testing become a watershed in the way you do business?
Go 'Down Under' & sneak into this presentation from the back row (prepare to lose some sleep):

So - metrics aren't numbers posted in a boardroom to help cure your insomnia; they're a tool to detect hidden leaks in your entire customer acquisition process. And that is exciting. (!) Testing lets us find choke points and points of friction. But the most important question to ask after the results are in is qualitative - 'Why did our visitors react that way?'

Pop quiz: Who's currently making decisions re: your site design? A committee of execs? Your IT department? Your graphics department? Your HIPPO (Highest Paid Person's Opinion)? Or your potential customers?

Once your actual visitor response data is available, there will be questions to ask: What do our test results say about your visitors? Where else might the insights gained from these results apply? What do the results indicate you should test next?

Is your website a profitable sales tool?

“Al started working with us in the fall of 2006. At the time, we had no online marketing strategy, and our advertising in print was completely ineffective & costly. Al introduced us to new systems, taking a step-by-step approach and showing us research to minimize our costs & risk. We're very happy with the results. The coordination of many efforts by Leadinglobal has been the key to making this a success for us. We now have a website that is a profitable sales tool, and we constantly get new customers from our advertising. Al has helped our company generate a significant base of valuable new customers.”
testimonial-2 - Frames & Pictures, Toronto, Canada

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