Digital/Online Marketing Communications Strategy

How Your Website Can Soar Above The Rest

By on October 20, 2009 in Uncategorized, web user experience with 0 Comments

dancers (man lifting woman) Big Stock Photo

What’s the difference between a good website and a great one?

It can be a fine line, but one you want to cross.

Recently, when discussing this very topic, I used ballet as a point of comparison.

Yes, ballet can relate to website strategy. Here’s how:

Shiny dancer

Earlier this year I went to a show by BalletX, a Philadelphia-based company. I’ve seen this ensemble a number of times and generally enjoy the performance. This one had an extra spark, much of it fired by a guy named Matthew Prescott.

Matthew was a guest artist and, wow, did he shine.

Not that Matthew was a showy dancer. He just had a wonderfully natural ease of movement combined with superb technical ability.

Now, everyone who dances with BalletX is a high-end professional. Still, Matthew stuck out like a beacon. He was exciting to watch.

No matter what, make it look easy

Matthew showed off his wide smile throughout the program, even when lifting a ballerina high above his head. And sure, she was a flyweight, but really; raising a grown-up body, no matter how light, is tough to do with grace and a grin.

Also, Matthew was keenly attuned not only to the dancers he maneuvered about, but to the audience as well. Everything he did outwardly communicated, “I’m doing this for you.”

So, what does this have to do with strategic web communications?

How to make your website shine (without being showy)

You can have an attractive website with well-written content and that surely goes a long way. But when you’re outstanding it makes a big difference. That’s how you get from good to great.

Here are ballet-inspired pointers for making a website soar:

  • Shine without being showy. Resist the temptation to have lots of bells and whistles. Unless you are an actual purveyor of bells and whistles, these are distractions rather than attractions.
  • Even if your service or product is difficult to execute, make it seem easy to accomplish. Your instinct may be to show all the effort, but the customer just wants to know you’re a real pro.  Of course, if you’re in a technical industry, certain customers will want detailed information on your process. It’s fine to have this available. But don’t make it a focal point on the homepage. Drop it down a couple tiers. The best first impression is of your exceptional value proposition. Convey this in clear compelling fashion.
  • Your site must operate flawlessly from a technical standpoint. All actions need to execute smoothly and without delay of process. On the web, performance (not patience) is the preferred virtue.
  • Every aspect of your site — design, navigation, text, functionality, search engine optimization — must focus on your audience. Your organization does not exist to serve itself and neither should your website.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think of these tips to make a website soar above the rest? Can you think of other aspects that make the difference between a good website and a great one? Share your thoughts. Comments welcome.

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About the Author

About the Author: Deni Kasrel is seasoned (slightly spicy) specialist in digital/online communications. .

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  1. You conveyed a lot in a few words, gracefully. Practicing what you preach.

  2. Kat says:

    “Even if your service or product is difficult to execute, make it seem easy to accomplish. Your instinct may be to show all the effort, but the customer just wants to know you’re a real pro.”

    Disagree with this a bit. People are becoming more and more skeptical of the promise of a “fast and easy way” to do anything, so it’s important to at least acknowledge if something will take time or effort to implement a strategy. People aren’t stupid and if you present something as too easy, it can seem like you’re talking down to them. But this is just my policy, perhaps as a reaction to many of my internet marketing colleagues.

    • Deni Kasrel says:

      Kat,
      I agree that many things take time and require strategy to execute properly. And sure, that’s important to acknowledge. What I mean is that you need to let the customer know that you are pro at it. You need not spell out all the details of what’s involved right off the bat — that can come later. On the homepage, you want to make the instant impression that you excel in your field and you must readily express the value you provide in a clear concise manner.

      In my post I used the analogy of Matthew as a stellar dancer. His expert performance and technical ability is the end-result of a tremendous amount of training. But when he is on stage he’s not saying, “Hey I practiced my butt off so I can do all this so well.” Instead, he takes to the stage and dances with what “looks” to be the greatest of ease — he’s not showing the effort.

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