With website trends changing faster than Taylor Swift’s boyfriends, it can be very hard not to get swept up in the hype of the latest web trend. Since the beginning of the web, there are a few key principles that are still vital to any good website. Here are 8 things I need to see on your business website to give you my money. Let’s break it down.


Anybody else remember Netscape? Just me? Ok.




Source: http://home.mcom.com/home/welcome.html


1. Tell me, what do you do?

No buzzwords, no fancy words, no jargon and no corporate speak. As soon as I get on your website, you have about 3 seconds to tell me exactly what you do in a simple, straightforward statement. Avoid words that have become meaningless like leverage and monetization. Don’t be overly philosophical either. I don’t have time for that. If you sell awesome chairs, just say: “We sell awesome chairs.” It helps if you can quickly tell me why they’re awesome. “We sell awesome chairs that were made by elves.”  A short video (less than a minute) would be helpful here too. Of course, the more complicated your products or services are, the harder it is to explain what they are concisely, but try.


Something like this: http://www.getwashio.com/




Washio is a California based wash and fold laundry service that picks up your dirty laundry, cleans it, and delivers it to you. The Washio website tells you exactly what they do in 8 words.


2. Tell me, why should I care?

I talk about this quite often with founders and executives who think their company is the greatest thing since < insert awesome thing that isn’t a huge cliché like sliced bread here>. I will try to be gentle.




People only care about how your products and services are going to solve their problems. And not just any problem, but the problem they are thinking about and searching for a solution for when they stumble upon your website.  Your product may be a great solution to finding great winter tires. But if it’s July and I’m not really thinking about winter tires, I won’t care.



Source: User Onboarding 


3. Tell me, why should I give you my money?

Let’s assume that I understood what you do, and how your product solves my problem. You still have to tell me why I should buy from you and not the other guy that’s cheaper or more popular. Why should I give you my hard-earned money? It could be: our product is faster, better, stronger, unique or the answer may not have anything to do with your product at all. It could be: we’re in your local area or we won’t keep you on hold for an hour or we give a portion of our profit to a good cause.


Something like this: http://www.toms.com/




TOMS Shoes is a company that sells shoes and eyewear. “With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. One for One.®” That promise was a main factor of TOMS success, because customers felt good about buying TOMS shoes since they knew that it was also going to help someone in need.


4. Tell me, who are you?

Tell me who is on the management team, and if it’s a smaller company, tell me who will I be dealing with. It’s not only reassuring that I will be dealing with real live humans but it will give me a feel of who is behind the brand. It is also a great space to share key experience and achievements of the managerial team to build credibility.


Something like this: http://www.freshbooks.com/our-team.php


FreshBooks - Meet Our Employees


Freshbooks offers a cloud accounting solution designed exclusively for small business owners. Their team page gives a great intro about each team member along with a nice picture. It personalizes the company and shows the team’s experience.


5. Tell me, why should I trust you?

Even if your product sounds great, and it’s exactly what I’m looking for, I still need to know why I should trust you, especially when I’m paying you or giving you my personal information. How do I know I’m not wasting my time and money on you, especially if I have a pressing problem to solve?

At the very least, it’s reassuring to see that you’ve been doing this for a while, or you have certain standards that no one else has. And I would feel more comfortable giving you my money if I see familiar logos of companies that use your product (B2B), testimonials from real customers (and don’t bother faking this because I will know) and the number of customers you have because “1,000 small businesses can’t be wrong”, for example. The last one only works if you have a significant number of customers.


Something like this: https://trello.com/




Trello is a project management web app. Let’s say you were searching for “project management app” and clicked on theTrello website. Even though you may never heard of Trello, seeing companies like Microsoft and Google listed as their customers will make you trust them more.


If you’re just starting out, it may be a good idea to give away some free trials and get customers to give you feedback and recommendations that you can share. Unless of course your product sucks, in which case, forget about the website and fix it or kill it.


6. Tell me, why shouldn’t I worry?

Try it for free, money-back guarantee, we will set it up for you; these types of assurances convince me that I am not taking a huge risk by giving you my money.


Something like this (again): https://secure.freshbooks.com/pricing.php



The Freshbooks signup page has 6 statements (see image above) that ease my fear about signing up with them and making a commitment.


7. Tell me, how do I get started?

Ok, so you’ve convince me to try your product, so how do I get started? This part is where some websites go overboard and give you too many choices of actions to take, while other sites give you no actions at all. The idea is to have one clear and concise Call-to-Action that shows your customer how to get started.


DON’T: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2014/25894/close-the-gap-between-sales-and-marketing


Marketing Profs


MarketingProfs offers real-world education for modern marketers through training, best practices, research and other content. I subscribe to this email newsletter, but once I get on to the actual site, I find the various calls-to-action (CTA’s) distracting.


8. Tell me, what happens next?

Once I sign up, I need to see some sort of confirmation that everything went through and what the next step is. “Thanks for signing up! Look out for your confirmation email” for example. This is also a good opportunity to let me know what I can do with this product or how I can get started.


Something like this: https://www.yammer.com/


yammer 1


Yammer is an enterprise social network established to enable employees to collaborate in real time. You need your work email to sign up since this is an enterprise product. Once you sign up, you get a simple thank you page telling you to check your email to complete the process. Once you confirm your email, you are directed right to the signup page. This is pretty basic but it clearly explains to the customer what to do next.


Confirmation page

yammer 2


Confirmation email


yammer 3


Confirmation link in the email takes you right to the sign up page.


yammer 4


Don’t get caught up with the latest web trends. Stick with what works for your business and tell your story:

  1. Tell me, what do you do?
  2. Tell me, why should I care?
  3. Tell me, why should I give you my money?
  4. Tell me, who are you?
  5. Tell me, why should I trust you?
  6. Tell me, why shouldn’t I worry?
  7. Tell me, how do I get started?
  8. Tell me, what happens next?


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