Monthly Archives: September 2012

Your Website: Is It 5WH Enabled?

Your website: Is it 5WH enabled?Your website could be the most attractive in the world, but if it can’t immediately convey to a visitor why they should contact you, it’s useless. Current statistics show that you have approximately 7 seconds to grab a visitor’s attention or they will move on. Therefore, it’s crucial that your website gets your message across quickly, concisely and without the fluff. To do this, you need to be 5WH enabled.

What is 5WH? According to Wikipedia, 5WH is the formula that allows a story to be told completely, and in this case it’s your website that’s telling the story of your business to capture your visitors’ attention.

What does 5WH stand for? You already know: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. All these elements must be present for your site to be complete, and your business to be understood. The best way to showcase these elements – and your greatest chance for success – is to make them prominent where a visitor most likely will land – on your homepage or landing page.

Defining the 5WH criteria need not be daunting if you consider the following. These are loosely based guidelines to which you can apply your own specific business expertise:

1) Who are you? This is not your business name as much as it’s your philosophy. Your About Us page should be concisely written to reflect who you are in detail, but your homepage should be a snapshot of your business. If you’re on social media (and you should be), you could have feeds on your homepage to show what you’re up to in the online community – a great way to create a profile of you as a person, not just a business.

2) What do you do? Think of how you respond to this question when you’re networking or talking to a prospect. Your answer should be in the first paragraph of your homepage greeting, followed by a short bullet list of your most important services, with each one linking to a detailed description.

3) Where are you located? It’s still surprising how many websites bury their contact information on the Contact Us page, which is typically the last link on the site. Why is the most important action for a visitor to take seemingly the least important element of your website? Your homepage should have your address, phone and email prominently displayed, with the email address being a person, not “info@” or ”sales@”. If you use a contact form to collect data, put that on the homepage too!

4) When can you help, or when should they contact you? If you have defined business hours, they should be listed as part of your contact information. If you see prospects by appointment, then include a calendar that can be easily updated by you on your website back end. If you’re a service provider such as an insurance adjuster, medical health professional or attorney, it’s your job to let visitors know when they should be getting you involved.

5) Why are you the best option for them? Of course you’re the company they need, but you need to convince them from the perspective of someone in their position – that means testimonials from others you have helped. Word-of-mouth marketing is very effective, and testimonials are your best chance to convince prospects to contact you, especially video testimonials. Whether text or video, they should be easily found on your homepage.

6) How can/will you help them? What you do is good to know, but how you do it is what sets you apart from your competition. Do you actually care about helping people, or is this just a job? It’s been said that you should not take your business personally, but you do need to give it personality. Being human is important because people will be able to tell if you look at them as someone in need or just a paycheck. Social media comes into play here as well because prospects can see not only what others are saying about you, but how you’re interfacing with others and whether your contributions are valued.

These elements are keys to making your website easy to use and understand, are relatively easy to implement and WILL improve your results. Without them, you’re losing business every day.

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