Seth Godin’s Knock Knock, ebook is still incredibly relevant – even 10 years after being written and released. So many times, do I see websites that truly lose their narrative.
Seth quite clearly writes 2 objectives that should happen when a visitor comes to a site:
- Turn a stranger into a friend, and a friend into a customer.
- Talk in a tone of voice that persuades people to believe the story you’re telling.
It’s clear-as-day that websites often lose their purpose. How many websites have you been on that genuinely lost you while you were surfing?
Most of the time, you’re not actually aware of this, you’ve already clicked off to work on something else. This happens because the instructions and narrative they presented you weren’t engaging. They were awful and you didn’t know what to do next.
Websites should be treated like a set of steps or a ladder. The purpose of a step is to take you to the next step, just like the purpose of a rung on a ladder is to take you to the next rung. That’s it. Webpages should be treated exactly the same.
But more importantly what do you want the person to do? What is the objective of your site? What should they click next?
More wisdom from Seth on possible out comes of using your site:
She clicks and gives you permission to follow up by email or phone.
She clicks and buys something.
She tells a friend, either by clicking or by blogging or phoning or talking.
That’s it. If your site is attempting to do more than this, you’re wasting time and money and, more important, focus.
So who’s fault is it that you didn’t click where you were supposed to?
You could argue your web-developers are to blame. But they don’t know your product/service like you do, you’re the pro right? In fact they only do as you ask. What about SEO guys? Similar really, you ask them to get you higher on Google (which they do) but you have a list of keywords to use a certain amount of time with a certain word count. So it MUST be the sales copy guy right? Almost. Yes your website needs good copy (everywhere). And you need great headlines that pull an audience into intrigue about your work and they want to know more.
This creates a scenario where, they click around a little, find out more; click around a little more and find out you really do have the service for them, so they punch in their email address/phone number/friend’s email address [etc.] and you have permission to market your amazing service to them!
But the best copyrighter in the world cannot provide a service for you unless you have an objective for each page.
At some point you’ll want someone to put in their credit card details, so you’d better find out and test when the best time for that to happen is.
Here’s a simple example of how a site should work:
- Homepage with engaging content leads to sales page,
- Sales page convinces customer this is the product for them and leads to checkout,
- Checkout is a simple process that leads to a confirmation of order email.
The customer has successfully walked up your set of stairs, (or climbed your ladder). Every page did what it was supposed to do, it led the person to the next step.
Of course people jump off on the way, you can’t help that, you can do your best to minimise this effect through testing and measuring, such as: A/B testing and experimenting with your sales copy — BUT it will inevitably happen, always.
You can download Seths’ eBook here: KnockKnock.pdf