It's time for another Friday Website Review, where we take a look at a user-submitted website and give you the insights you need to make it better.
In this episode, we're looking at a marketing page (this one) made to sell one specific offer. Check out the video to see the 3 main takeaways you can apply to your site.
Links & Resources
- Why old-school image headers are a bad idea (and what to do instead).
- How to get useful feedback about your website (see step 2).
- Sales page tutorial with the "text section" thing I mentioned.
Below is a summary of the main points in this website review.
Headlines & Priorities
Big, fat headlines are great. If you've watched many of my videos, you know that I never shut up about how important they are... but, the effect of a big headline is lost if it's surrounded by other big headlines.
Look at your page and try to see the visual hierarchy of all your elements. What is the most eye-catching element? Is everything that is especially noticeable on your page also especially important?
The Curse of Knowledge
The curse of knowledge is that when you know something, it's very hard to imagine what it's like not knowing that thing.
What's this got to do with marketing pages? Well, the curse of knowledge presents a real challenge for copywriting, because you know a heck of a lot about your own business. This makes you practically blind to what it's like being one of your blissfully ignorant visitors.
A headline or bullet point that makes perfect sense to you might leave your visitors completely puzzled. Try to see your website through the eyes of a new visitor or get some user testing done, to fix this issue.
The Image Test
Using images on your marketing pages is a great idea, but only if the images are good. What makes a good image? Look at each individual image you chose and ask yourself:
Does this image illustrate a clear, tangible benefit?
If the answer is 'no' then you should probably find a better image. This is one of the reasons typical stock images are so horrible: they are generic and unrelated to your specific business by their very nature.
Note: all my 'good' examples in the video are graphics, but that doesn't mean you can't have useful photographs on your sites. As long as an image is related to your content and communicates something your reader cares about, it's good.
Get Your Website Reviewed!
Would you like to see your own website featured in one of these review videos? Submit your site on this page and we might pick you next!
If you enjoy these website reviews, please share this post and help us spread the word!
Great stuff lots of very useful advice. There is much more to think about these days with so many different screen sizes. I’m about to use Thrive themes on my site and got a lot from this.
That price point is way too cheap for a physical event. The $997 is too high and a bit obvious that it would probably not ever have been that price. Much more in touch for me would be $ something like $397 down to $247.
A lot of people are making the mistake with auto play videos that you talk about, I see it all of the time.
I hope to see more of these 🙂
Thank you for your valuable comment, Lynne!
Hi Shane, I really do appreciate these Friday reviews. They help me immensely. I’ll put my site up for review soon.
Thank you for your comment, Frank! Glad to know these are useful to you.
Shane, this is absolutely brilliant!!
As the owner of the site you reviewed its great to get such meaningful comment and very constructive criticism.
We particularly like your comment about getting too close to the business, its something we excel on delivering for other people but of course, like the plumber with the leaky tap, its always harder to work on your own business 🙂
Interestingly, in most other communication we send out we specifically talk about helping professional service providers and consultants but have completely missed it on this page!
Looks like I have some work to do this weekend following your excellent advice – look forward to a better page soon.
Graeme and Lauren
ps I picked up something was happening when I checked our website visit stats this morning, so quite a few people have been in to look at the page.
Thanks for your reply, Graeme! And thanks for not taking all my nit-picking personally. Look forward to seeing your new-and-improved pages!
I see that you’ve already transformed the page in question and I think it looks a lot cleaner and more convincing now. I hope you’re running a test, too. 🙂
Thanks Lynne for the comment. The $995 is actually indicative of our 1:1 charge so is accurate but you are very right, it looks out of kilter and not so believable
Hi Shane,any updates about the problem in thrive leads 2 step optin not triggering?
Page is now completely altered to take in a lot of the recommendations. Looking a lot better but now need to listen to your review again and tweak the bits we missed 🙂
thank you again Shane
Yep, I’d like to keep seeing these web site reviews. I learn a ton every time I watch them.
I’ve read quite a bit on web design and marketing, but this was the first time I’ve heard about making sure that images show the benefits of your product/service. That’s something new to me and I’m going to re-think how I’m using images on my site now.
There were a ton of other great tips in the video but this one stood out for me. Thanks for doing these reviews!
Thank you for your comment, Nigel! You know, this was a good one for me too, because it made me think about why I didn’t like the images on this page and how I choose the images for my own sites. So, while I’d been using this strategy for a long time, making this video prompted me to really think about it clearly and verbalize the strategy for the first time.
As a person who’s been studying website design psychology for a number of years, (not claiming to be any ‘expert’ at all, but just educating myself a great deal on the subject) the first half of that page was an absolute eyesore.
On top of not knowing at all what the business was about in that ever important ‘first 5 seconds’, in addition to irrelevant images (cheesy stock photo and people sitting around the table) another element Shane didn’t mention, is all of those unnecessary and unappealing bold black and red letters on the left-hand side. It’s overkill. It’s clunky and hard on the eyes.
The text layout on the left and other elements farther down the page doesn’t flow smoothly, and I just found the entire page far too cluttered as a whole, lacking a great deal of continuity.
Hopefully Shane’s critique will be helpful to the site’s owner.
Thanks for your comments Mark, that’s really helpful.
We made many alterations to the site immediately after Shane’s review and still have more to do.
The fact is, that particular page is being driven by warm leads, so it was and still is working despite the obvious improvements that still need to be done.
We have addressed the most urgent changes and I’ll jump in to make content alts as you suggested as well.
What I love most about Thrive is the way it allows us to make very quick changes to content but we do need to stop tinkering at some point.
In our eyes the work we do is never perfect!
I’m really pleased you didn’t take offense to anything I said Graeme, as it was in NO WAY intended to be so, nor disrespectful in any way. 🙂
I guess I was just being very forthright and honest like Shane. That, and as I mentioned previously, having extensively studied the psychology of website design, colours, layout, etc. regarding what appeals to people (and what doesn’t) without them even being consciously aware of it. I felt compelled to chime in. 🙂
Yes you’re right Graeme, Shane and Thrive have done an outstanding job on all fronts regarding building a product and stellar service to make site construction a helluva lot easier.
Best of luck in your continued construction!
Thanks for adding some thoughts of your own to this website review! I really appreciate that and it adds some more value for the site owner.
There is a lot of value in these websites reviews. In the offline niche, I wonder if doing this type of website review would work as a lead generation tool for a website designer or whether the business being reviewed would either take offence or simply get their own web master to make the changes. There are so many poor websites out there that I feel that a good website designer could have an absolute field day. So much opportunity, so little time!
That’s an interesting idea, Mark.
From my experience, I can say that even if you “give away” all your knowledge, people tend to want to hire you to do things for them. It doesn’t work equally well in every niche, but it’s worth a try.
For example, I’ve seen this with webinars on topics that are typically seen as complicated or intimidating (e.g. copywriting, conversion optimization). Even if you present a whole system for doing these things, you’ll usually get some requests from people who want to hire you.