Would you consider yourself a printer? I’ll bet you don’t, but you are.
Think for a minute about what we had to do 20 years ago to print a color brochure, a mailer or a quote for a job – if you were lucky, you had access to a copier. Or a fax machine. Now, think about what technology allows us to do today. For relatively little investment, we can design and print or distribute astonishingly professional documents and media from our computers that rival what we went to “professionals” for not that many years ago.
The Web is the preferred channel where manufacturers, prospects and purchasers go to research sources and partners to build and develop their products. If you think it ain’t, you’re smokin’ rope.
But many manufacturers miss opportunities for new business because they present incomplete or insufficient information on their Web sites. Let me explain.
There’s been a lot written about how to write for the prospects that visit your Web site. Which is a little odd, when you think about it … writing more about writing less.
You’re supposed to keep it short. Informative. Written specifically for the people you want to attract, for the moment they’re most likely to be interested in you.
There’s a really good (albeit generalized) article from last summer called “Lazy Eyes – How We Read Online.” Manufacturers would do well to start with this piece to get right with what your site should say and how it should say it. It was written by Michael Agger over at Slate. In it, he references the good works of Jakob Nielsen that finds online “readers” aren’t really readers at all – they’re “… selfish, lazy and ruthless.”
They’re on a mission. They want answers, they want them now, and they don’t want to see or hear more than that.
They’re like animals looking for food – information foraging, it’s called – and you must consider this before all else when writing for or designing your site.