Should websites be inward-looking or outward-facing?

websites
Copyright Marco Verch

Planning websites

Planning websites and how audiences will react to them can probably be described as party planning. Parties can be a great place to meet people. However, sometimes you talk to a stranger… or, to be more accurate, you listen as they converse at great length about themselves. You are soon engaged in a desperate search for an escape route. Someone else recognises the signals you are sending and skilfully extricates you form your party hell. Would you rather your website listen to visitors or simply lay out your business’ story with no opportunity them to interact or indicate what they are interested in?

Taking the party scenario as a starting point, the first individual was inward-looking. Sadly, so are many business websites. They usually don’t intend to be, but do end up talking about what that company or organisation thinks, or knows, they are good at, rather than what the prospective customer or service user wants to know. The second party-goer was outward-facing, recognising how and when the specifically-needed help could be offered. This is what those who arrive at a website via a search engine are hoping for.

Other inward-facing problems

Each business has its own private language, the jargon or verbal shortcuts which insiders use and understand almost sub-consciously. It’s easy to forget, when crafting a web or social media presence, that they are likely to be talking to those with much less specialist knowledge. Equally, because the insiders understand how a product works and a service operates, it’s easy to take for granted that others do too. This could be equated with asking directions from a local when you are in a town that is new to you. Their directions often miss out key pieces of information, because the person you’re asking already knows how to get there!

An impersonal welcome

People use search engines to find specific products or services. Too often, a click-through takes them to a generic homepage, often inward-focused, and expects them to find their own way to where they hoped automatically to find themselves. Take the time to work out what visitors will want to see when they get to your site and then develop a landing page specifically for them. At Mark 2 Creative we focus on how to reach out to visitors – by developing personas of the “‘typical” visitor and then mapping their possible journey through your website’s information.

So how can we work with you? For an obligation free initial conversation, please talk to us now by calling 1300 795 990. We promise not to be that first person at the party!