You may be great at pitching your business in person, but how do you transfer your offline success to a website? Because of the nature of how people read web content, presenting your brand online is not the same as presenting it offline.
I like to compare the process to a great live band trying to produce a studio album. You need to channel your great live performances into a focused, presentable product.
In a similar fashion, your website is a completely different experience than your live pitch. Therefore, you must tailor it to fit the user experience.
Led Zeppelin was one of the greatest live bands of all time, but they were also able to transfer that success into studio recordings. How did they make it work so well? Here are 4 lessons you can learn from Zeppelin about building your site:
1. Know your Hook
A good recording will pull the listener in with a catchy hook. In a similar way, a good website will gain the visitor’s attention with a good message. Avoid bombarding the visitor with multiple messages and options. Instead focus on one hook that will set you apart from competitors.
2. Find One Creative Direction and Stick with It
When you hear a band on the radio and know immediately who it is, that’s not by accident. Successful artists develop a distinct sound that sets them apart. Similarly with a website, it is important to have one creative theme or direction that you stick to. Visitors will trust an environment they understand, and they will take action on a site with a consistent and intuitive design.
3. A Twenty Minute Solo Won’t Fly
Have you noticed that songs are shorter on the radio then in concert? Producers shorten songs to four minutes because a 20 minutes solo doesn’t translate well on record. For your company website, try cutting down on your content. Most website usability analysts will recommend cutting your content by half (or more). People use the Internet to save time, and the majority skim the text looking for headers, bullets, and keywords. Cut the fluff and make your visitors’ lives easier.
4. Mix, Master and Polish your Tracks
Compressors, reverbs, filters and an infinite number of other effects are used in the studio to enhance the raw sounds of a recording. And like recording studios, good web designers will also use standard web conventions to ensure an optimal experience for the user. For example:
- Size Hierarchy of Text – Put substantial thought into how you want to structure your sections, and then be consistent about the font sizes you use to group text.
- Page Titles – Every page should have a page title in the upper left hand corner above the main content.
- Bread Crumb Navigation – Including this supplemental navigation ensures visitors don’t get lost in your site.
- Search – Having an option to search your website is something many users look for these days. Don’t lose those visitors.
At the end of the day, your core strengths should be coming through loud and clear without distractions. Zeppelin’s huge back beats and cutting vocals came through in both live shows and on record. However, they adapted to the studio and packaged their music differently for an optimal effect. What are your company’s strengths and how can you focus them online?