Too many companies design a website, social profile, or landing page without understanding the intent of the visitor. Product managers pressure the marketing department to list features. Leaders pressure the marketing department to publish the latest acquisition. Sales teams pressure the marketing department to promote an offer and drive leads.
Those are all internal motivations as you're looking to design a web site or landing page. When we design and develop a web presence for a company, the immediate pushback we get is typical… everything that's missing. Sometimes it's a web feature that's missing, but most of the time it's some obscure fact about the company.
I'm working on corporate training for a large public company with hundreds of subsidiaries and was asked to do a presentation on aspects of a web page or landing page. Truth be told, every page of your website is a landing page. Each visitor is there with some kind of intent. The most important element on a web page is ensuring that you're providing a path for that visitor!
When we're designing sites, profiles, and landing pages for companies, the one rule I consistently have to remind them is this::
We didn't design and build the website for your company, we designed and built it for your visitors.
Douglas Karr, Highbridge
What is the Intent of Your Visitor?
There are 5 basic reasons that every visitor comes to your site, social media profile, or landing page. That's it… just 5:
- Research – the vast majority of people that arrive on a web page are doing research. They may be researching a problem in their industry or home. They may be researching a problem with your product or service. They may be researching pricing information. They may even be simply educating themselves as part of their career. In any case, at issue is whether or not you are providing the answers that they are looking for. As Marcus Sheridan answers in his book, They Ask, You Answer!
- Comparison – Along with research, your visitor may be comparing your product, your service, or your company with another. They may be comparing benefits, features, pricing, team, location(s), etc. Many companies do an outstanding job of publishing actual comparison pages of their competitors (without taking jabs) to differentiate themselves. If a visitor was doing a comparison of you to your competitors, are you making that easy for them to do?
- Validation – Perhaps a visitor was down to the final steps in their customer journey but they had a few nagging concerns about you or your company. Perhaps they're worried about implementation timelines, or customer support, or client satisfaction. If a visitor lands on your page, are you providing any validation? Trust indicators are a critical aspect – including ratings, reviews, customer testimonials, certifications, awards, etc.
- Connection – This may be one of the most frustrating aspects of most large corporate websites. Perhaps they're a software provider… and there's no login button. Or you're a candidate looking for a job – but there's no careers page. Or they're a large corporation and an effort to improve internal routing and efficiency, they avoid placing phone numbers. Or worse, they do have one and they push you into phone directory hell. Or the web form you submit provides you no context on a response or how you can get the assistance you need. This is where chatbots are making great strides. Your prospect or customer wants to connect with you… how difficult are you making it for them?
- Conversion – Along with connection, are you making it easy for someone who wishes to make a purchase to actually do so? I'm amazed at the number of sites or landing pages that have sold me… and then can't sell to me. I'm ready – credit card in hand – and then they toss me into a horrible sales cycle where I am forced to speak to a representative, schedule a demo, or take some other step. If someone wanted to buy your product or service when they are on your site, can they?
So… as you work to design a website, social profile, or landing page – think about the intent of the visitor, where they're arriving from, what device they're arriving on, and how you can feed that intent. I believe every page needs designed with these 5 reasons that visitors are landing there. Do your pages have them?