Get the message? What your website must say about your business

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The reluctance of some SMEs to deliver their message effectively can lead to confusion and low conversions from their target audience.  Marketing professionals regularly refer to the importance of ‘message’ but what does it actually mean and why is the impact for getting it wrong so serious?

The message should be the first thing any business writes down when they start their marketing plan. In fact, it should almost be a requirement for a small business plan. Because if you don’t know what your message is, how are your customers supposed to?

One of the most famous marketing phrases coined nearly fifty years ago was the timeless ‘WIIFM?’ or what’s in it for me? In order to fully convince a target customer that you have something to offer you need to directly state what the benefits are.  Whether you are developing a multi million euro ad campaign or a flyer for a local handyman, the message remains a constant. It is said the best and most effective messages can be picked up even after a quick look.

Never before has this issue been more important than on your website.  Customers are making their mind up at first glance.  Everything we do online now is done with great speed.  New applications and faster broadband are making things faster and as a result customers want things faster.  They need to know what you do and what’s in it for them as soon as they land on your website.  If your message is not clearly delivered, they will simply move on to the next website.

Use clear CTA’s (call to actions) throughout your website that lead customers to the next stage in the goal, whether that is to buy something, sign up to a social media account or to submit their email for email marketing purposes. You need to know what your goals are and you MUST ensure that they can be easily seen and actioned by your website visitor.

Rely on headings to get your points across and use media like video and podcasts where appropriate. Media on a website must add value and contribute to efficient delivery of the overall message.

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