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A Mediocre Website Is Risky Business

11/30/2011

Yesterday in the online version of the New York Times was a blog post titled, “The Dangers of a Mediocre Website“. The title caught my attention. This post stemmed from an earlier post analyzing the merits of an e-commerce website attempting to boos sales of its wheeled luggage via an online contest.

The owner of the Sky Roll website, Michael Chernoff has a site that he’s happy with its appearance but less than happy with its ability to convert and sell. Unfortunately Chernoff is not alone.

In today’s world it is no longer sufficient to have “just a website”. A company’s website is only one component of a marketing strategy made of many moving parts. Clearly the online space is important. Online marketing has the potential for tremendous reach, is multi-faceted, is cost-effective, measurable and easy to modify to respond to trends or sales.

So why are so many company’s websites mediocre? More often than not it’s a lack of good writing. Pictures, videos, audio and other tricks can only do so much. At the core of a good website is well written copy that convinces and ¬†inspires.

A good website must accomplish these three things:

  • Make people want to buy your product
  • Create a level of trust so people are willing to buy from your website
  • Make the buying process as simple and intuitive as possible

Pretty basic stuff…for sure. But it not only works – it works extremely well.

Take 10 minutes to read your website copy today. Then ask someone who doesn’t live and breathe your company’s product to read it. Ask them what they learned about your product and your company from your website. Ask them if money were no object would you buy my product. This is where the rubber meets the road. If the answer is yes…have them elaborate. If the answer is no – it’s time to bring in the cavalry.

If you have examples of websites that inspire you, that you transact with regularly or at a minimum accomplish the three criteria above – share them with us. We could all use the inspiration.

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