When your product is complex, developing your company’s website to effectively showcase your products or services is challenging. You can’t just throw all the information on one page and hope everyone figures it out. You’ve got to methodically plan the content and design for multiple pages. Then, you’ve got to come up with a user-friendly, intuitive navigational structure to connect those pages.
Once you’ve designed the structural foundation of your website to provide a good user experience, you’ve got to design the content in the same way. Here are some strategies to help you get it right the first time:
- Speak the language of your visitors
If you want your visitors to understand what your product will do for them, it’s important to speak their language. If your target audience isn’t comprised of industry experts, don’t use industry-specific terminology. If you can’t get around it, at least use it sparingly and provide a brief, clarifying explanation for laymen.
When using your own trademarked terms, be sure to explain what everything means for your visitors. Trademarked phrases sound cool but they’re not always self-explanatory. When describing your products, never assume your visitors know what two or three word titles mean. Always elaborate.
For example, Phonexa describes their platform features with branded names. Waves, for instance, is a feature within their Lead Management System. They provide a brief, clear description of the feature that the reader can understand.
Another good example is AVG’s internet security services site. AVG describes each service in detail, including their “hacker attacks” protection. Protection from hackers could mean anything, but makes sense to the visitor when it’s described as a firewall that protects their files, photos, and documents.
On the other side of the fence is SiteLock’s website. SiteLock is a popular website security tool, but uses heavy industry terminology to describe their services. This terminology doesn’t make sense to the average consumer, who happens to be their target market. For example, they list services like global CDN, PCI-certified WAF, and SQLi and XSS prevention. However, no further explanation is provided. The average consumer won’t understand what those features are.
- Go beyond explanations – tell visitors what’s in it for them
Detailed explanations aren’t enough to capture the essence of your complex product or service. A visitor can thoroughly understand your product and still not understand why they should buy it. Part of your explanation needs to speak directly to your visitors, telling them what’s in it for them.
- Cut down your copy – then cut it down even more
Most web copy is too long. There’s nothing wrong with long copy when it’s written well. However, most copy is unnecessarily long with plenty of room for cuts.
When writing copy to explain a complex product or service, less is more. Cut out words like “this” and “that” and replace them with direct statements.
For example, say your copy reads, “this product is something that you can use to simplify your business expenses.” Cut it down to, “simplify your business expenses with [product name].”
- Simplify your design
It’s tempting to create a complex design when your content is complex. However, simplicity will always win. According to Kissmetrics, the human brain loves simplicity. Simplicity makes people happy, makes them think better, and makes them spend more money. Even Google discovered simple websites with low visual complexity are more appealing than complicated designs.
- Carefully create your navigation labels
Your navigation labels matter more than you may think. When your product is complex, the wrong navigation labels can make visitors bounce.
For instance, if your home page doesn’t say much about your product, visitors will look at your navigation menu for clarification. If all you’ve got are the standard “about,” “services,” and “contact” labels, they’ll probably bounce.
Your navigation labels are an opportunity to capture interest and make your visitors curious enough to click. That doesn’t mean you should get wildly creative and use abstract terms. It just means thinking more deeply to come up with meaningful labels worth clicking.
Do the grunt work for your visitors
Simplifying the complexity of your product or service means your visitors don’t have to work so hard to understand what you’re offering them. Don’t make them pull up a dictionary or Google your business to figure you out. No matter how complex your product is, you can always speak their language, simplify your website structure, and speak directly to their needs.