opinion

What's in it for ME?

Joe D

Website visitors are very ME-focused. When they are checking out a site it’s all about them. What do THEY want, what do THEY need, what can THEY get out of making a purchase or signing up for a membership – and that’s exactly as it should be. After all, your job as Web developer is to design a site that meets the wants, needs and desires of your targeted traffic in order to ultimately gain their confidence and make that sale. It should be all about them.

In addition to making what your site has to offer very clear, you also need to make the “value” of your site very clear as well. Value, as in what they will get out of bookmarking your site or the advantages of entering their e-mail address or other contact information for free content or membership information. Value, also, as in what they can expect once they MAKE a purchase, once they JOIN your website – once they become a part of it all.

When you shop for things – either for your business, home or family – you assess the product, store or service based upon its value as well as for its reputation and initial appeal. Your site’s visitors do the same thing, so when you assess the performance of your overall website you need to keep this in mind.

Me, Me, Me

...So common an error and also so fatal--and so easily avoided. It's hardly rocket science to realize that surfers are mostly interested in themselves and their own interests. Their main question will always be “What can you do for me?” But businesses can (and do) easily forget about that and focus too much on themselves:

“In their ads, they talk about themselves, their product, their service, their length of time in business, yet they fail to address what their product or service can do for their customers. Can you save your prospect money? Can you solve a problem they have?” [Ejayz 2007]

FutureNowInc.com has devised a free tool called the “We We Calculator” (not what you think...) that will analyze your copy to determine whether your focus is on the customer or not. [Eisenberg 2007] The customer focus ratio is not everything, but it's extremely important and maximizing it has been shown to increase conversions significantly.

Sources and Further Reading

Ejayz. "Costly Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid," UK Business Forums 06/11/07.

Bryan Eisenberg. “How We Measure Your We We,” Future Now Post 03/25/07.

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