Gatorade got it right with Derek Jeter. Apple nailed it with the launch of the iPhone 6. Heck, even Paula Deen got most of it right with her new endeavor (minus the subscription part). What I’m talking about is the now. What matters right now? It’s a question most brands don’t think about until it’s too late; even though visitors constantly scream to give them a reason to stay on their page longer.
According to a recent study from Tony Haile of Chartbeat, your site has 15 seconds to capture someone’s attention before they leave. How you spend that time and what you show them is crucial to whether or not you’ll get another 15 seconds. So let’s look at the best way to catch and hold the attention of a visitor.
Put Someone In Charge
The thought of design-by-committee makes me vomit. The same theory applies when a CMO responds to the question of, “Who manages your site?” with a, “Oh, we have a whole team that does.” Wrong. That doesn’t work. Someone has to be responsible for defining the win and making sure the stuff that matters for your brand right now is front and center.
If It Isn’t Working, Rebuild It
One World Trade Center is a remarkable architectural achievement. At 1,776 feet tall, it’s the tallest building in the U.S. (pending the acceptance of the 18-piece spire to make it so). The building contains more than 40,000 metric tons of structural steel and 49,000 cubic yards of concrete, taking over a decade to build. Your website is not the Freedom Tower, so stop treating it that way.
"Don’t let the failure of the last project prohibit you from building something that works."
Don’t fail to see the power in a website that works. Ninety percent of the people that Lewis pitches to have been “burned” by the web redesign process before, giving them great fear in rebuilding to create something better. And though finding a team that is willing and capable of designing a high-performance website can be tough, it’s worth it. Don’t let the failure of the last project prohibit you from building something that works.
Emotion Versus Fact
The goal of a successful website is to give something in order to receive something. Here’s an example: REI gives you a great blog on how to camp with kids; you buy a tent from them. This is a very simple process. Where it quickly gets foggy is in the ability to discern the difference between your emotional ties to a brand from the analytical facts of what is really happening.
I see this element almost every day. “But shouldn’t it be blue instead of orange?” No, it shouldn’t. Why? Because the users already told us they wanted orange. “Shouldn’t the video be longer?” No. We know it should be two minutes. Why? Because the users dropped off the video after the two-minute mark. And the list goes on.
The same theory applies to keyword integration, content marketing, online video, email marketing and all the other important elements that make a great website work and perform at a high level. If you are not using analytics, A/B testing, and user studies to determine the foundation of your site, then you are using emotion. And emotion is a very dangerous persuasion. Marketing for the NOW is a sign of a great brand. And consumers want to engage with great brands. Put someone in charge, fix the issues and leave the emotion out of it.