A view of a bar from the ceiling looking down at customers.
Conversions and Persuasive Design

Be the Dark Beer Website

It’s Friday night in a small town somewhere on earth. A website walks into a crowded pub, strolls over to the bar, orders a glass of water and doesn’t say hello to anyone. Another website, sitting two stools down, takes one last gulp of its dark beer, shares one last laugh with the dude sitting to his left and leaves his business card on the bar.

Which website is going to complete its first conversion? Which website will leave an instant impression? Which website has a business plan? Of these websites, which brand will be remembered?

Maybe the first website was at the wrong venue. Perhaps a yoga retreat was a better fit. If I was to guess, Website with Water didn’t think it had to talk to anyone because its digital marketing company pays for links management and keyword rank in search engines. It was assured revenue, so it can sip water, or herbal tea and just wait for the money to come pouring in.

Website with Dark Beer has been around and knows that if it wants to survive year after year, there can be no missed opportunities. Not only that, every tweak of a search algorithm, operating system or design practice can mean a sudden, severe dip in traffic, conversions and rank.

The beer drinking website knows how to meet the needs of its tribe because it knows them well. Even better, it knows exactly who that tribe is, what it desires, what it buys and values and how to make every tribe member happy.  It invests a great deal of time and money addressing customer experience concerns.

If this website is not how your website handles life on the web, we need to talk.

The Days of Cheap Websites Are Over

Is your website struggling, despite your online marketing efforts? Have you noticed people are not staying on your web pages long enough to do what you want to do?

It’s easy to blame the link builders, content writers, keyword research and analysis and finally, the design of the website itself for its failure to thrive on the Web.

Next, you blamed search engine algorithms, spam comments, trolls, negative customer stories and the so-called “black hat” strategies performed by your competitors.

Website owners will look for any reason to avoid facing the truth.  They hired the wrong people. They didn’t ask the correct questions. They had hoped that a cheaper solution would save them gobs of money and be easy to implement. A web site’s failure to thrive is the direct result of poor planning. It’s what happens when corners are cut and someone listened to a song and dance about programs with cheap, unskilled labor for hire.

A holistically built website is expensive.

If Your Business Success Depends on the Internet

Websites and web apps are woven into our daily lives. Like our pets, our web sites, apps, emails and social media sites go with us to get ice cream in the pickup truck, sleep next to us on the pillow, make noises when activated with voice commands and need a doctor when they get sick.

Your web site customers respond to websites the same way we respond to pets and people the first time we meet them.  This is the most basic truth about website ownership that nearly every website owner fails to understand or prepare for.

The language, essence, message and intent of a website has to be understood by everyone and when it’s not, the experiences for you and your site visitors suffers.

Every breed of dog or cat is different. Every target market is different. If you ask people what they believe the most common traits are for golden retrievers are, you will get responses from people who have had one and from those who never have. This is what companies do too. They don’t know who their target market is but make guesses and assumptions anyway.

Every user is unique. If you don’t respect this core truth, you will not get them to do that thing you want them to do. Sure, you can create batches of designs for segments of your target users that you choose to pay the most devotion to. This is what most companies do. They are particular. They are not afraid to exclude people. Or worse, they don’t know they are excluding anyone.

Your visitors react to your online information with human senses few designers and developers stop to consider. They haven’t been taught to design for much beyond text and images backed by source code that needs to work on servers and browsers. Website visitors arrive with user experience baggage. They arrive after years or a few minutes of browsing, feeling frustrated and impatient and now your site is fighting them tooth and nail too with that big form draped over your content begging them to give you something before they know you. This tactic is obnoxious. But marketers swear by it.

Not the dark beer website.

Dark Beer Website listens to people. It observes behaviors. Collects data. It tests. And it tests again. And it hires people who know when it’s time to test again, for what and why. It hires experienced staff with the proper training and skills. They have a business requirement that reads, “Design for humans with feelings.” They design for disabilities, emotional responses, character traits, people who want and people who can.  It’s willing to pay more for web builders with expertise because in the long run, the final result is that it looks and acts exquisitely dapper out in public because of that investment.

Dark Beer Website will not make assumptions. If it sells a product for people, it knows that there is a target customer and a customer that just hasn’t had the pleasure of shaking hands with them yet.  Avoid assumptions. Change your perceptions of people. Think outside the box. Create experiences people will remember. Reduce clutter. Say hello to everyone. They may be your next customer, subscriber, fan, friend or referral.

Be the dark beer website.