An idiot’s guide to Web / by John Hannent

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OK, we’ve covered branding and advertising now I’d like to cover your website. Actually, I don’t want to cover your website because it means speaking to my semi-translucent colleagues with high foreheads...

But why should it? Actually, they’re just there to deliver what YOU want to say. Yes, they’ll hit you with loads of initials, jargon and apps, but they will do just what you want them to if they’re any good. So don’t worry about the technicalities, some one else will. If it becomes a problem, maybe they aren’t good enough?

So, now we’re back at the helm of good old communication, it’s what fills any media, whether it’s web, print or Big Vera’s tattoos. What fills your pockets is effective communication, on any media.

“What fills your pockets is effective communication.”

So the same rules apply. Obviously, you’re having my past two articles tattooed on your back (or Vera’s) so my text isn’t to hand at the moment, but the previously lauded principles of CONFIDENCE, PRECIPITATION and CREATIVITY all apply, but in different ways.

CONFIDENCE

Gain the subliminal confidence of your consumer. Use a confident, proven design that’s easy to navigate so your consumer can get where he wants to go, easily and, frankly, without realising (if you’re slick). 

Good information design means good ‘navigation’, it’s not about what typeface you use, it’s about when and where it’s seen.

And remember, clicks are valuable. More and more companies in YOUR trade are charging for clicks, so think of them as currency. They paid for Mark Zuckerberg’s Lamborghini and Kim Kardishan’s arse implants...
Don’t waste them.

PRECIPITATION

Get rid of the crap! Or at least condemn it to a distant, dark corner of the web. Only use the ‘nuggets’ of information you need to facilitate sales, you’ll lose people if you drag on. Why do you think there’s so may bullet points on the Net? It’s not bloody laziness, it’s the most accessible way of delivering that ‘core’ information.

Then it’s precipitating your messaging and your branding (see Big Vera, she’s done now) so you’re making the very most of all of your ‘clicks’. Do they (your consumer) know where they are? Do they know where to go? Are you leading them? Are you boring them? Keep asking yourself those questions and you won’t go far wrong

Don’t fall for the shifting sands of badly applied Parallax Scrolling, impossible CMS (see what’s happening, four paragraphs in and I’m sounding like a bloody techy) and hard to handle motion graphics. People need to understand quickly on the web (and in EVERYTHING) and they don’t wait to learn or for you. Plus, nine times out... Nine, you don’t need to over-guild the lily. A simple white Lily will get your hand in their knickers.

CREATIVITY

Don’t think you have to be creative by reinventing the web, algorithms, delivery etc. You don’t. A website simply gives you a sandwich board, or a team of sandwich boarders. Just fill your media (I prefer ‘sandwich board’ but it’s limiting!) with something that will demand (or divert) the attention of an interested party, then nurture that attention. And promote it where interested parties frequent.

To attract that attention, offer them something new. While you can tread the same boards as others (even copy them), you’ll be looking at maximum yield if you do your own thing. How? Well, that’s what we do. We precipitate (that work again) your sales messages into the most concentrated, impactful form we can, tailored to your consumer. The sales messages is one thing, attracting attention is another.

Just remember that most of anyone’s audience now is watching on a smartphone or tablet. In the case of carp anglers, there’s a HUGE percentage of ‘phone viewings. Basically, there’s little else to do when you’re waiting for a run and you’ve already auditioned the finger puppets.

Is your website necessary? “Of course it is you fool” I hear you say (actually, you didn’t say fool did you). Well, if you look at it logically, we’re on the ascent of a spike that’s leading people towards your product via social media and associated apps. Which means that an ‘interested party’ will, at some point, want to take in information about you or your product. That’s where your website comes in, right? Wrong... Surely it makes sense for the ‘relevant information’ to grease the sides of the digital slope towards buying your product, rather than actually taking them away from it. 

If you’re a shop, you are the slope. If you supply shops, think about it. “But he’s taking the High Street shop out of the equation” I hear you say. No I’m not, completely the opposite as it happens.

Again, I’d love to expand on this but it would involve me talking to the men with high foreheads again, and frankly I want to go fishing. “Use your smartphone” you say... Well, I’m sorry but I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to smartphones and don’t let them interrupt my ‘special time’ with myself (or the finger puppets). But your consumer isn’t.

BULL***T 

What I’m trying to say is PLEASE don’t be afraid of the technicalities of the Internet, use them at your own leisure for your own devious devises. Take a step back and see through the bullshit (oops, said it), relax and employ the most effective sales tool you have.. Or don’t?