Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Say "no" to boring business Web sites

Do business buyers really turn off their emotions by day?

What would you do differently if you thought prospects (the ones who actually stuck around!) only read 20% of the copy on your Web pages? What if they only read 10%?

On the average Web page, users read 28% (at most) of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely, says Jakob Nielsen, Web usability expert in this recent post at Useit.

But the sad truth is they probably read even less of the words on the page than the study showed. Why? Because researchers tracked highly-educated visitors, who were probably better able to read dense copy.

What can we do other than writing shorter copy to encourage prospects to read more?

We could use more:

  • Bullets

  • Headlines

  • Images, and

  • Pull quotes that stand out from the page.

But the bigger issue is the need to write copy that prospects want to read.

I don't know about you but I am going around the twist with boredom ... I am so sick of Web sites, particularly business to business sites, that sound the same, that write the same way, that are afraid of their own shadows.

They have no sense of humor, they talk about themselves and not their buyers and they make no emotional connection with buyers.

It's as if they think prospects will only respond intellectually during the day.

When I sit down at the keyboard in the morning do I switch off my emotions?

Do I abandon my sense of humor?

Like most business buyers and consumers, I am pretty much the same person by day as I'm by night. (I do yell more at my kids than at coworkers but the workaday Julie Power isn't all that much different from the night-time mother, wife, cook, friend and bad housekeeper. Same problems with filing and expense accounts.)

That's why I love sites that appeal to both sides of my personality with real stories, real heart and a sense of humor (as well as providing the facts and figures I need) like:

LaserMonks with its compelling story (these are monks who sell printer cartridges at good price)

Indium with its funny videos and graphics that jump off the page (like the one above)

NewPig. Who knew industrial messes could be so much fun ?

The Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughter with its heart-breaking case studies featuring really cute kids.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online blog editor Julie Power on Tuesday May 27 at 8 a.m.


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