When ‘Wow’ is Wrong
How does a professional web developer choose a new web design for himself?
When working with clients, I use guidelines to keep us on track, but this was my own site and I just started checking out some of the best-known web designer websites and some local (Tarpon Springs, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Clearwater & Tampa) web developer websites.
Some of these really “wow’d” me! Stunning photos would grab my attention and keep me on the page for at least several seconds.
After viewing a couple dozen of these, four really stood out in my memory, and I resolved to outdo or at least match the very best.
And then I changed my mind.
I admit, the change of mind came only after a few days of serious thought. What got me to thinking was that I couldn’t remember a single word, let alone “idea” from any of those stunning websites. I couldn’t even remember the domain names.
OK, maybe you can attribute a tiny bit of this to the fact that I’m likely twice as old as these web designers. But there’s more to it than that – much more. And this affects your website as well as mine…
So “Pretty Websites” Equal More Sales?
I contacted a few clients of these designers – clients with absolutely stunning websites. Introduced myself and complimented them on their websites. Responses generally went along these lines –
Client: “Yes, we get a lot of compliments on our website.”
Me: “I imagine you get a lot of new business from it too?”
Client: “Actually, not so much.”
Two even admitted that they’d been getting more business from their previous, comparitively dull-looking websites!
Come to find out, there’s been a study on this phenomenon – David Ogilvy, known as “the father of advertising”, commissioned a study that showed that stunning images more often distract from the message and lead to fewer sales.
I learned about Ogilvy’s “Commandment #1”, and specifically how it applied to images, from a Google search where very little came up on the topic. Thankfully, I clicked the link to an article by Bnonn –
D Bnonn Tennant, Copywriting Coach & Conversion Consultant from Information Highwayman, does a great job of updating Ogilvy’s advice to today’s web marketing environment in this 2012 article , The Shocking Truth About How Web Graphics Affect Conversions.
Now, don’t misunderstand – I’m not saying that you don’t need a great-looking website. But I’m raising the alarm over huge, stunning, images that monopolize viewers’ short and fickle attention.
The three links above are excellent reading, if you’re wanting to increase sales and results from your website. But if you’re busy running your business and don’t have time – why not put me on the job? I’ll get these concepts working on your website and we’ll get those sales pouring in!