This is the third and final post in a series of three guest posts by Graham Jones.
Graham is an Internet Psychologist and helps businesses profit from the internet using psychological principles.
How long do you look at any web page? Some, you might find interesting and you linger over. Others, you click away almost as soon as you arrive, because you realise the page is not what you were looking for.
Nowadays, we are prepared to wait no more than four seconds for a page to load. And once it has arrived we give it less than one second to impress us, before we are off, to travel elsewhere around the web. In fact, research has shown that we spend just 0.56 seconds assessing each web page to make the decision as to whether we are going to stay, or depart back to the safety of our Google search.
In other words, you need not only a rapidly loading website, but one which shows almost instantly that it is exactly what the visitor was after. And therein lays the problem for most business websites.
Few businesses appeal to such a tiny segment of customers who are all after one specific thing. Typically, a business will be dealing with an array of customers, all with different specific needs. For instance, imagine you run a small cafe in the middle of town. Some of your customers will be business people, looking for somewhere to have impromptu meetings. Some of your customers will be young mums, looking for a place to have a rest and to feed their toddlers. And some of your customers would be the elderly, who love the cafe because it is a friendly place for a cup of tea, after getting their pension.
Now imagine you have to build a website for that cafe. What pictures do you show? Do you have images of business people? If so, you’ll put off the young mums. Do you have pictures of mums and toddlers? Do that and you’ll find it hard to attract those pensioners in for their cuppa. Or do you have pictures of elderly people, only to find that warns off the business customers.
So, in this circumstance, most businesses would decide to have pictures of all three kinds of customers on the website. But all that does is put off everyone because they can’t see, in that half a second glance at the web page, who the business is really aimed at.
What can you do? Well, you could change the business so that is a cafe only for young mums and toddlers. That might help, but think of all those teas and toasted tea cakes you wouldn’t sell any more to the pensioners. Or you could do something different completely. You could have one website for each of your customer groups.
Whatever business you are in, having a single website that is supposed to appeal to all your potential audiences is a recipe for people departing from your pages within a second. Almost every business looking to use the internet to help them grow, will find it really tough with just one website aimed at everyone. Gone are the days when people were happy to flick through your website and find the specific part they were looking for. Nowadays, we live in a world of instant gratification, which means people are not giving your business time to present its case. Instead, if they can’t see what they want immediately, they head back to Google to try and find someone who can.
The only way out of this situation is to have several different websites serving each of your specific niche audiences and often each particular product or service you provide. The only way the web can really help your business grow is once you give up the notion of having a company website and when you set up several separate websites for each tiny specific audience you serve.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who helps businesses profit from the internet using psychological principles.
Check his site at http://www.grahamjones.co.uk/
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Thanks to Dominic for the photo