The success of your website relies largely upon how the human brain works and in particular two ways the human brain behaves.
First, the brain is constantly categorising ways to ensure survival. We humans are always looking, listening, touching, smelling, tasting and moving— both intentionally and with the aim to be safe and to survive.
Second, the human brain is always working to conserve energy. We all have those moments when a task requiring close concentration becomes too much. Quickly, we find ourselves choosing whether to battle through or whether to abandon the task to another day—or all together!
You may be wondering what all this has to do with your successful website.
It is essential that for a website to be successful it must carry a clear message that can be absorbed by visitors at speed. And, it isn’t just a matter of the message being clear it is also about the message being in a language visitors will understand—i.e. without jargon or ‘industry speak’. It is so easy for messages to be clear to us—and mainly because we know a lot about the subject—but not clear to others. In other words it is possible to speak over your visitors’ heads without realising it.
This presents a problem to some, as many website owners want to be seen as expert and authoritative. They see these qualities as selling points to their business—and indeed they are! However, it is much better to allow the visitor to discover these qualities about you and your business, charity or other organisation once you have won their interest.
To win the interest of your website visitors first your successful website must pass the ‘Grunt Test’. The Grunt Test is based upon our imaginings of what a Caveman’s life was like and in particular the way he communicated. We imagine his vocabulary to have contained few words and few verbal expressions.
The ‘Grunt Test’
So, what is the ‘Grunt Test’ and how will I know if my website passes the test?
Your website should be able quickly to answer three essential questions. They are:
When it comes to website clarity we at Future Point 4 Business believe two elements are essential: -
1. An easy-to-understand tagline, and
2. An obvious call to action (e.g. Buy Now, Register Now, Join, Schedule an Appointment, Call Us Today).
Both of these should be above the fold of your homepage. Above the fold means the section of the page the visitor can see before s/he needs to scroll down. The homepage is the page of your website visitors will usually land upon first.
Your visitor will want to be reassured that you and your business or charity are good at what you do. They will want to know that you can deliver and that having your product or service will improve their lives and circumstances in the way they want.
Remember, the customer will likely come to your website with a problem or a need. S/he may well be frustrated. A smiling person on the homepage of your website, for example, will tell the visitor that you can solve their problem, meet their need and resolve their frustration. A smiling person isn’t the only solution but the principle of showing something of success is essential.
On average our modern western world thrusts 3,000 commercial messages upon the human being every day. Some of these messages will be obvious to us while many more will be subtly absorbed without us even realising it.
Consequently, a successful website must break down its display of products and services clearly and into bite-sized categories. The visitor to your website should be able easily to navigate their way around your website in order to access the information they need and are looking for.
Back to Survival and Energy!
While your website visitor’s brain goes about its daily categorising for safety and survival it will also want to conserve energy. Your visitor will want to arrive at your website and access information quickly and efficiently. They will want to decide and act with assurance you and your business, charity or other organisation can deliver, solve their problem, meet their need and resolve their frustration. If they can do this your website will be a proven success. If they cannot, they will simply go to your competitors!
Author: Phillipe Avery
Founder Director, Future Point 4 Business