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Would Your Website End Up on Restaurant Impossible?

by Article by Remington Begg Remington Begg | July 25, 2014 at 4:55 PM
Would Your Website End Up on Restaurant Impossible?

Have you ever watched Restaurant Impossible on FoodNetwork? You know, the one with Chef Robert Irvine that begins with him touring an outdated, overpriced, and otherwise failing restaurant. At least 75% of time, you'll hear him passionately exclaim "Your menu is confused! It has no focus! You're offering hamburgers AND sushi!" At first, his criticism doesn't make sense; food is food. This logic makes sense, until you realize that the menu is from a restaurant that is on a show about failing restaurants. While the seemingly easiest way to attract the most customers is to cast a broad net and offer something for everyone, in the end, everyone ultimately ends up confused.

Chef Irvine might not be in the marketing business, but he's 100% correct when it comes to finding your focus. A website without a clear direction is going to read like a seven-page menu offering everything from Chicken Parmesan to California Rolls. So grab a snack (you know you're hungry after reading about all of this food) and check out these five tips you can use to ensure your website has a clear focus, increase your conversion rates, and make sure Chef Irvine won't be visiting your office anytime soon: 

Speak to a Pain Point

Don't be "That Guy", the one at every cocktail party you've ever been to who spends all night talking about himself; what he does, how he does it, when he does it, did he mention that he's really good at it? 

Your website is about you, but it shouldn't be. The products and services you offer aren't about you, but about solving a problem for your customer. While the connection may be obvious to you, helping your customer define what their problem is, how to solve it, and that you are ultimately the best solution is why your website REALLY exists. 

Develop Buyer Personas 

How can you possibly create content for a person you don't know? You can't! Sure, you can take a best guess, but everything you create will be tainted with a personal bias. Just because something compels or repels you, doesn't mean that's how your ideal customers would feel. Every single action, whether it's on your site, in your marketing, or in your sales process should directly relate and speak to a Buyer Persona. A target demographic on steroids, these fictional representations of your real-life best customers are the foundation to knowing what header text will be effective, what call-to-actions should be on your site, and what the voice of your content should sound like. 

Focus On One Topic at a Time

Creating too many directions on a web page leaves your visitor feeling lost, confused, and possibly a little hungry. Giving your website as a whole and every page on it a focus is essential to attracting the right people and encouraging them to stick around and engage further with you. Your business might cover a variety of products or services, but it’s important to expand on each one in it's own space. By having a clear and concise focus, your website visitors will know immediately that they are A) in the right place and B) know what to do next.

Limit the Interaction Points on Your Page

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Yes, the purpose of your website is to engage your visitors and they can't interact with you if you don't ask them to, but only ask in ways that make sense. Any actions by visitors within your website should be intuitive, they shouldn't have to think about it - it should come naturally. Don't overwhelm them by asking them to do too many different things at once. 

Use Headings to Separate Content

Back to the food for a moment - when reading a menu, your eye scans the page reading the bolded plate names: Pecan Parmesan Crusted Rainbow Trout. If the information you gather from the highlighted text piques your interest, you scale down and read the description below the name to find out more about it. Websites work the same way. Chances are 80% of you are not reading this blog word for word, because big blocks of text is cumbersome and we have learned to filter through information as quickly as possible to gather what we need to know. Make your content as easy to digest as possible. Use headings to highlight the key points of interest for your Buyer Persona, allowing your visitors to quickly process the information.

When creating or designing the content and direction for your website, it’s important that you don’t try to be too many things to too many different people. First define who your audience is, make their journey through your site easy and effortless, and make sure to present information in a way that's easy to follow. 

So tell us, would your website end up on Restaurant Impossible?