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Insight & Analysis - June 16, 2021

Why Your Business Website Could Be Doing More Harm than Good

Have you ever been on a business website for minutes and still can’t figure out what they are selling? You know a business’ messaging is faulty when you need to research further to know what they do and offer. This is a challenge several businesses face, and it all boils down to one thing the ‘story’ they are telling. 

You need to tell a story where your business is a hero coming to the rescue of the customers. Highlight the problem, the worst-case scenario and how your business provides a lifeline.

Customers have burning questions and if your website isn’t answering them in few minutes, they’ll most likely leave. You must find a way to narrow down all the complexities of your business offerings into one simple message that instantly resonates with your target customers. 

Donald Miller recalls in his book Building a Brand Story, an interaction he had with a business owner who thought his business was too diversified to carry a simple message. “I don’t think this will work for me,” he said. “My business is too diverse to reduce down to a simple message.”

Miller asked him to explain what his business does and he said, “I have an industrial painting company with three different revenue streams. In one division we powder-coat auto parts. In another, we apply a sealant to concrete, and in another, we have a sterilized painting process used specifically in hospitals.”

While the business offered diverse services, it was all about painting, and that’s what people need to know. Miller highlighted that if the business website featured the picture of a guy in a white lab coat painting something next to the text “We Paint All Kinds of S#*%,” accompanied by a button in the middle of the page that said, “Get a Quote”, it will drive more sales. 

Having a short text that summarizes your business offering might seem too simple, especially in Africa, where our native language is verbose and we often get the feeling that less text means less impact. But this isn’t the truth. 

Miller explains that veteran writers know that great writing isn’t what they say but what they do not say – this way they’re able to hold the interest of the reader. The more we cut out, the more captivating our messaging. Give fewer texts and pages to your company history, FAQs and contact information.

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