Your website’s bland – and it’s damaging your business

But I can’t be talking about your website… Can I?

Let’s start out by establishing what I mean by bland.

  1. You’ve not changed the home page text from the default settings
  2. You’re using the same banner graphics as you were 12 months ago
  3. Your ‘About Us’ page is a paragraph long – and you didn’t write it
  4. You, personally, are nowhere to be found on your website – no photos, no bios, no links to social media

If you’re guilty of any of the above, I hate to break it to you, but the chances are you’re guilty of the crime of being bland.

bland / adjective / lacking strong features or characteristics and therefore uninteresting

There is a real, and damaging, impact, to having a bland website.

Bland websites reduce credibility

Reduced credibility

If someone goes to your website and it looks just the same as the last one they visited, that’s pretty much the definition of ‘do it yourself sites’. The cookie cutter look is a dead giveaway that you’re using a template.

That doesn’t mean you need to invest $$$ in a custom built site, but you do need to differentiate, or risk turning off 35% of your website visitors.

Stock photos – those banner adverts you never change – have almost as severe an effect. Just think – if you receive 2,000 visitors per month to your website, as many as 700 of them are dismissing you out of hand because you look the same as everyone else.

How to fix it – without breaking the bank

How to establish credibility on your website

The great news is that the power to fix your bland website is at your fingertips. Literally! An engaging ‘About Us’ page is the single best way you can spice up your site.

A good ‘About Us’ page builds rapport with your customer, and gives them a reason to think “yes, this company sounds fun / professional / knowledgeable, I’m interested in learning more.”

Don’t paste your mission statement on to this page. Explain what you do and why you do it in plain English. No jargon unless the market into which you sell will absolutely, 100%, know what you mean.

Include images – of yourself, of your office, of your team… This builds legitimacy, as you can see from the above graph, and it’s also an opportunity to set the tone.

Dog as morale officer

Best Morale Officer Ever?

…Maybe even your pets! I bought from a company recently simply because their ‘Morale Officer’ was a dog called Philip. I was amused and intrigued, and generally think that people with happy dogs are good people. So I picked them over a similarly priced competitor.

If it’s true to you, don’t be afraid of putting off the odd potential customer who doesn’t like your sense of humor. You can’t be all things to all people, and if you try, guess what? BLAND.

Tell your story. That’s the ‘why you do it’ I mentioned earlier and it’s so, so important. The amazing TED talk by Simon Sinek does a far better job than I could do of explaining this and I really recommend watching it. Without the why, you’re just another promotional products distributor.

Make sure the ‘why’ is easy to find! Don’t hide your ‘About Us’ page away. Make sure it’s easy to locate in your navigation, and while you’re at it, make sure your home page text is similarly personable and compelling.

Add a call to action. Most people have their contact details on a ‘Contact Us’ page and that’s fine, but in the interests of maximizing every opportunity, have them on your ‘About Us’ page too! If someone’s connected with your content, make it super easy for them connect with you personally.

Here’s a great article from the Content Marketing Institute which gives you some more ideas for building trust and blasting away bland – and if you need further convincing, have a look at the impact simply changing the wording of an email did for CD Baby.

If you’re in the market for a new website, do check us out! Learn more about Customer Focus websites

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