I’m On Your Web Site, Are You Listening?

October 15, 2009

Glenn Schmelzle has some excellent recommendations on evaluating your Web Site in this post titled; How tech companies should evaluate their websites

Although the title references tech it applies to all of us in the small to medium business space. So go read some of the land mines that too many of us make in the creation and management of our Web Sites!

For the  pupose of this post, I want to expand on one point that that Mr. Schmelzle makes;

..must take an objective view of ourselves

1.    Where am I?
2.    What can I do here?
3.    Why should I do it?

Quality Of Experience

Those three questions by Mr. Schmelzle are the start of more questions that you must be answering, and answering quickly.

To lead off on this concept, Mr. Schmelzle has referenced a study that stated that if they are not engaged, the majority of people will be off of your web site in less than a minute.

That statistic is being generous! other studies and reports have stated that you may get 3 to 5 clicks by prospective customers before they bail out on your Web Site and find someone else.

The statistics are irrelevant – Whether it is less than a minute, or 5 page clicks, the problem is that you are simply waiting to disgorge your information, you are hoping to shoot your mouth off without asking what your prospect is actually asking about. Which is the second key in this concept;

Waiting to talk is vastly different than listening.

As much talk as you may have on your Web Site, If you are not listening, there is no communication.

What is listening?

To put it bluntly. When someone finds your Web Site, they are asking a question on how to solve a particular issue or problem. It is up to you to ensure that you quickly and efficiently identify those questions that are being asked, and provide concise and clear reasons why you are the one to answer that question and solve that problem.

You may recognize that concept as your value proposition, which is exactly what it is. But too often in our excess and unclear mass of words, we never actually answer those questions!

So; answer those questions!

I am asking questions about a problem, I am asking questions about a pain point, I am asking questions about some knowledge that I need.

It is up to you to offer me alternatives, It is up to you to offer me offer me solutions, It is up to you to offer me that knowledge I need.

It is no accident that the Home Depot’s (NASDAQ HD) You can do it, We can help. tag line is so memorable. It boils down everything written here into 7 memorable words.

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2 Responses to “I’m On Your Web Site, Are You Listening?”

  1. elliotross Says:

    Glenn, thank you for dropping by!

    And thank you as well for the inspiration 🙂

    Even outside of analytic data, we should be able to identify some of those pain points and answer them.

    In most SMB’s – Iam willing to bet that you **speak** them when sitting in front of a prospect.

    In fact the questions you learn from that prospect should be added to the repertoire, verbal and on-line.

    Best Regards,


  2. Elliot you’ve riffed on the central issue behind my post – that our websites must strive to anticipate the visitor’s pain and let them convince themselves that we can cure it. This is hard but not impossible to do with the one-sided conversations on our websites. To borrow another memorable line, this time from the X-files “The truth is out there” and it’s buried in analytics that will tell us what visitors look for. I sincerely hope more companies see that doing this online is very similar to every other way we interact with our audience. Great post!

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