Showing the Right Pages to the Right People – Friday Website Review

In today's website review, we're looking at another example site from one of our readers. This time, it's a B2B marketing site in a very serious "suit and tie" kind of market.

The site serves as a great example for some principles that you can apply to improve your conversions, no matter what business you are in.​

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The website in this week's review is Clients First and here are some of the points summarized from the video:

Avoid Empty Benefits

​An "empty benefit" is a benefit statement that holds no value, because no one would ever take the opposite position. Statements like these are empty benefits:

  • ​Our product is really good!
  • We care about our clients!
  • We offer a professional service!

These are not bad statements, but they are generic claims that any business can (and probably will) make. Because of this, they lack credibility and value.

A true benefit statement is one that actually sets you apart, because some of your competitors could take an opposing position. An example would be one vendor advertising the lowest prices while another advertises a high-end, luxury product (which is, of course, expensive).​

Perform a 5 Second Test

A 5 second test is when you show someone a page on your website for just five seconds and then ask them what they remember and what the page was about.

You can do this by asking friends, family or random passers-by and actually showing them a page for a few seconds in a browser (this is the low-budget approach) or you can use a service such as UsabilityHub to conduct this type of test.​

Every page should pass a 5 second test. This is especially important on your homepage: if it's not clear what your site and your business is about within 5 seconds of viewing your homepage, you've got a serious problem on your hands.​

Be Aware of the Awareness Ladder

No matter what your business is, you will have prospects who are in different stages on the awareness ladder. The ladder ranges from those who don't even realize that they have a problem that needs solving all the way to those who are fully informed about the problem, the solution and the different products or services available to them.

In other words, the awareness ladder is a way of sorting your prospects by the factor of how "in the know" they already are.

The key to making this work to your advantage is to show the right pages to the right people: provide educational content and jargon-free information to prospects who are low on the ladder. Provide all the tech-specs and details to those who are high on the ladder.​

If you get this mixed up, you'll be losing visitors and potential conversions.​

I hope you enjoyed this website review! Please share this post and help us spread the word.

Shane

Author: Shane Melaugh

Shane Melaugh is a co-founder and the CEO of Thrive Themes. When he isn’t plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he likes to geek out about camera equipment and medieval swords. He also writes about startups and marketing here.

  • Kevin Barham says:

    Brilliant video – I really appreciate your insight Shane.

    This information is invaluable to me and will continue to help me with advice for my web clients and hopefully help me end up with a better site when I rebuild soon!

    I’m book-marking your ‘Conversion Optimization’ category – It’s a great resource – Thank you
    Best wishes
    Kevin

  • Kevin Barham says:

    A quick question about your website Shane, if I may…

    Most people set the default address of their site to be http://www.domain.com and if someone visited it without the www they would be redirected. I see that your site defaults to the domain without the www.

    I know you test a lot so I was wondering if there is a reason why you default to the non-www address?
    Thanks
    Kevin

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      I don’t think it matters, really. What’s important is that you do have a redirect from one to the other – www to non-www or the other way around. Personally, I prefer non-www because it’s shorter and no one says or writes the www part anymore.

  • Detlev says:

    Hi Shane,
    great video and valuable insights!
    I think you mentioned the 5 seconds test before… but thanks for reminding me – somehow that had gotten lost.
    Do keep theses reviews coming. Thanks

  • Martin J says:

    Here’s an “empty benefits” test: If you’re reaction to seeing the phrase, be it a bullet point or even (heaven forbid) a tagline, is “Well, I should hope so”, then you are reading nothing but a platitude. Platitude is another way of defining an “empty benefit”.

  • Noelene E says:

    Thanks Shane. Really great insights! This is the first one I’ve had a chance to watch but will definitely be going back and looking at the others. Your very constructive comments fall very much in line with other mentors I have working in the online marketing space so it all makes sense!

  • rob h says:

    Studied marketing for decades. Shane’s generous perspectives in reviews like this are more beneficial than any paid marketing course. I have changed my way of thinking and cleaned much rubbish from how to do things by way of thrive and this blog. Infinitely useful. I think I will be an affiliate just to spread the good word of the inevitable….that thrive has changed the whole wp landscape for the better.

  • Your awareness ladder is a very fine concept. If you are aiming at an audience broader than those folks who know exactly what they want it seems logical to construct your pages/posts in such as way as to bring your audience from unaware further up the ladder. It would be an educational sequence.
    The tough part would be to grab the attention of the full range of your potential clientele. How would you accomplish that or would you have to be more selective in who you try to attract?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      There’s no universally right answer, IMO. In general, I would try to create different landing pages for audiences on different parts of the ladder and target my campaigns/traffic sources accordingly. When you try to appeal to too many people all on one page or with one message, the result is usually that you end up appealing to no one.

  • Klaus S says:

    Again a brilliant review, Shane! Please keep on this excellent weekly habit :-)
    Particular regarding empty benefits and the awareness ladder. What do you think is a good way to catch visitors of all awareness levels? Leading through your LP via menu- or ‘above-the-fold’-links could again conflict with primary C2A and confuse people with too much stuff, i guess.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Klaus,

      Good navigation definitely helps in directing visitors to the right spot. But in general, I think it’s more important to make sure that all traffic that you can control (e.g. from PPC, your mailing list etc.) is sent to pages that match the right spot on the awareness ladder. Trying to appeal to too many people on one page usually leads to generic and uninspiring content.

  • Gary K says:

    I thought I’d drop this recent post from The Daily Egg here, “What`s Big in 2015? Smart Sales Funnels (Here`s What You Need to Know)”

    http://blog.crazyegg.com/2015/02/11/smart-sales-funnels/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+crazyegg+%28Scrambled+Eggs%29

    “A smart funnel is best defined as a fully integrated website design that recognizes each visitor and shows different content and offers based on where each visitor is at in the sales process.”

    It has some relevance to the present discussion. Any opinion on this as a direction for Thrive Themes to take?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      See the targeting options in Thrive Leads, the targeting options in our themes’ Focus Areas and the Clever Widgets plugin for evidence that we’ve been going in this direction for a while. :)

  • Mary-Ellen M says:

    Another great video, building an effective home page is the difference between gaining or losing clients and followers. Thanks Shane.

  • Paul Wilson says:

    On watching this I immediately changed the front page of a new website I am producing to reflect the 5 second view.
    I`ve asked lots of friends and family to look for the five seconds and tell me what the site is about…. the results were amazing just with a few simple changes. Everyone involved who are certainly not experts could say exactly what I was attempting to get across.
    With information, insights and knowledge like this Thrive products prove again that they are the best available on the market today.
    Please keep the knowledge coming.

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