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Your Website Needs To Sell Benefits, Not Features

As a business person it astounds me how many websites are obviously designed and built by developers or web-designers, or in many small to medium sized business cases, the business owner. 

“Isn’t that who is meant to build them?” you ask.

Not really. And let me explain why.

We are now in a period of internet consumers who are ready to swipe or click away if they don’t see what they need in seconds. Maybe it’s short-attention span, or maybe its because they have so much choice these days that if they don’t see a benefit, in seconds, they’re gone.

Gone are the days of websites with menus of menus, linking to pages of information and content. Reams of content that they expect the visitor will put aside a few minutes to read.

Many many businesses are still guilty of selling the features of their business in the opening page of their website. 

“Isn’t that what they’re meant to do?” you ask.

Not really. Stick with me and you’ll see why.

Put yourself in the seat of an internet consumer. You’re looking for someone to satisfy your needs, or solve your problem. It’s all about you. So you find a website that might have what you need and when you get there they open up telling you what they have and what they do. They tell you about them.

But deep down in your self-centred psyche (we all have one) you really don’t care about them, you are trying to satisfy your need. You are searching for a solution and benefit to you (at someone else’s cost no doubt).

I’m not saying you’re looking based on price, that’s a whole different search, you are looking for resolve to your problem, to solve your pain-point.

Let me give you an example. You are looking for an internet provider at home. We’ve all had to do that. The reason you are looking is because you have constant issues with drop outs and when you need help you can never find someone real to talk to, someone who will help you resolve your issues. Sound familiar?

So you go online to search for the best internet provider. You know what you’ll find? A whole bunch of providers selling you on price and load speed. 

Whilst price competitiveness is a nice-to-have, and fast speed is necessary but usually not competitively noticeable, they all compete with that same messaging. The end result is they are all competing with each other with the best price and best speed. Not one provider is standing out from the crowd, addressing your pain-point of drop-outs and help at the end of the phone.

Imagine if one of these internet servicer providers targeting their marketing messaging to you, said something like, “You told us you’re sick of drop-outs and poor phone service, so we’ve put a guarantee in place to fix this for you.” You'd possibly still have some issues along the way but to their credit they certainly attracted and engaged you with their messaging. You’d sign up in a heart beat.

Business owners need to adjust their marketing messaging specific to your needs, not their features. They need to turn their features into your benefits.

Websites today have 3 seconds to grab the attention of todays internet searcher. Today a business needs to get their messaging spot on, on the first screen. You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.

No longer can they preach to the consumer about their features. They need to grab the prospective audience by appealing to their needs, their desires, their pain-point. Instantly, at first visibility of the website. In 3 seconds.

Can a coder do this as they build your website? Can a graphic web designer do this as they build a creative website?

No. They can 'build' the website, but they can't design it.

You must put the horse before the cart. The horse being your target audience, and the cart being your website. The hose will pull the cart. Knowing your target audience is imperative to being able to understand their needs and pain-points. Until you understand that, you won’t be able to target them in, and attract them to, your website. And you certainly won’t be able to build a website until you know who they are and what their needs are.

Your messaging to your target audience needs to focus on them, not you. Turn your features into benefits. A feature is what something is. A benefit is what something does. It can be a challenge but it needs to be done correctly and before you do anything else.

Get your messaging right, attract and engage your audience when they hit your website - yes you still need to get them there - and then use a Call-To-Action to get them to contact you. Turn their engagement into a lead.

If you need help understanding your target audience and translating that into website design, please do not hesitate to contact me.


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