Imagine that you need an obscure part from a hardware store (I know it’s not much of a stretch, but work with me.)
You’re sure a hardware store would have the part, but your not sure where in the store it would be. Under normal circumstances, you’d drive to your local hardware store, or big box store. Once there, you’d wander the aisles where you think the part may be, hoping all the time that you’ll stumble across an employee that could point you in the right direction. Of course, since you need an employee, the laws of the universe dictate that you will never find an employee, unless of course you’re “just looking.” At this point, you have a dilemma the next nearest store is at least 10 minutes away. By the time you get to the car, drive to the next location, and get into the store, you’ve probably burnt up at least 20 minutes. So, do you gamble and spend more time in the current store in hopes that you find your item in less time, or do you make a break for the next location.
Now suppose, for the sake of this discussion, you had the ability to teleport yourself to any location. Your search process for this obscure part becomes completely different. Not only is any store just a blink of an eye away from you, you’d search inside the store differently.
First, you’d be at your primary destination immediately. Most critically, your destination would be dependent on where you think you would be most likely to find your item. No longer would you need to balance drive time and traffic issues against the probability of whether or not the closest store would have your part.
If you knew of a store that specialized in your particular object, you’d go here first, even if it was 10 times further away than your local big box hardware store.
Second, you would use your new found powers of teleportation to go to the area of the store that you thought would be most likely to have your part. Not there? Pop over to the next section. Not there? go bamfing down a few aisles to see if you can find an employee. No Luck? No problem. The next hardware store is an eye blink away. You could cover half a dozen stores in the amount of time that it would take a mere mortal to simply drive to the nearest store.
Imagine if you were the owners of these hardware stores. You’d want to make it as easy as possible for these special customers to find exactly what they were looking for right away. If you didn’t, they’d be gone in a heartbeat if they couldn’t find the item or the help to get to it.
Well, guess what? The internet gives every single one of us the power of teleportation. We can be anywhere in any store; and in a moment we can be in a different store with the click of the back button.
This should make you pause and think. Is your website designed to help people find out what they are looking for? Or, if I may be so bold, is it a narcissistic monument to yourself? If you thought the “MTV generation” had a short attention spam, think how precise you have to be for the generation that rarely looks past the third result in Google.
Your website needs to show your visitors exactly what they are looking for and tell them exactly what to do as the next step.
So take time right away to evaluate your website as an outsider and make sure you are providing what you need to provide in the first seconds of a visit. Either that, or hire your favorite teleporting website psychiatrist to analyze your website for you.