The Inspire Website Manifesto
by David Dwyer on 27/04/2016
Which of these 10 principles are you missing from your website?
When it comes to the World of the Internet, the pace of change is relentless. Keeping up with latest developments can feel impossible. And on occasions, we all suffer from the ‘shiny new thing’ syndrome. We want to follow the latest trends, try the latest app or tool. But let’s bring it back to basics. You need to focus on what your website delivers.
Here’s my ten-point manifesto to keep your site on track.
1) It’s not about you
People don’t care about you. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but it’s true. Don’t make this the ‘You Show’. Make the star of the show the people you help. Put them front and centre. Put yourself in their shoes. What do they want to hear?
2) Be the best answer
Your mission - should you choose to accept it, is to be the best possible answer to the questions visitors to your site have. You should be serving up great content that genuinely helps your audience.
3) The Real You
We live in a cynical World. The visitors to your site have a detector, a sixth sense if you like. If they think you’re false - you’ve had it. If you use buzzwords and dress up your language - they’ll switch off. You earn their time by being genuine. You build trust by being consistent. And you connect by being real.
4) Share the stories
You can build trust by being genuine, but to transform that into a commercial relationship, you need social proof. Simple testimonials from your customers can work well. But add some background and context and you can create fully formed case studies with ease. Stories sell. Use them.
5) Avoid Stagnation
A modern website doesn’t stand still. It is constantly changing. The days of static sites that you build, launch and leave are long gone. The best way to deliver fresh, engaging content is through your blog. But you can also add new portfolio items, testimonials and news throughout your site.
6) The Devil is in the detail
Unlike a printed brochure, your website has no space constraints. Use the space to share lots of valuable information. Instead of one picture of your product - share ten. Instead of a single paragraph of text - share five. The more information you share, the easier you make it for someone to buy from you.
7) Free can be profitable
Who doesn’t like free? Free is great. Especially when what you share can add value to your audience. Sharing a free PDF, eBook, an email course or video - in exchange for an email address, is a proven way to build your email list. Free is the start of new relationships that could transform your business.
8) Your Goal is not perfection
Your site will never really be complete. You’ll be adding new content to your blog, and you’ll be making tweaks and improvements as time goes on. That element or feature you loved six-months ago now irritates you. The colour of that form doesn’t work. Don’t use it as an excuse for not launching, though. Get it live and make changes when you need to.
9) Invite connection
People like to communicate differently. For some, they’d rather contact by email while others would prefer to pick up the phone. You need to accommodate all forms of communication and cater for every possible preference. Make sure you share everything, including your full postal address. Withholding contact information can also be a barrier to building trust.
10) Call to Action
All the points in our manifesto are important - but I’ve saved the best to last. At least, give your site the chance of being a genuine asset by asking your visitors to take action. That action doesn’t just mean buying something. It might be subscribing to your email list. Or it might be downloading a brochure. The important thing is to ask clearly and frequently.
Thai’s our 10-point manifesto. Have we missed anything? What would you add? Leave a comment, share your thoughts and who knows, our 10-point manifesto could grow.
Which of the 10 do you think can make a bigger impact on your website and business?
Inspire Web Development, Inspire Web Services, Social Media Management, Web Design