Let's imagine you and I are meeting in Donostia-San Sebastián in the north of Spain for dinner.
And we're going to have dinner in the old town. What are we going to have for dinner? I know. We'll have some beer, los pintxos, some icecream, and a cafe cortado. And guess what? We'll get the entire meal on one plate. The beers, six pinxtos, ice-cream and the coffee. All served to us on one plate—at the same time.
Hmmm…that would be a mess wouldn't it?
Now logically speaking, that's not too much food. We could easily run through six pinxtos, two or three beers, some icecream and wash it down with a cafe cortado or two. But we couldn't, or wouldn't want to do it all at once would we?
This is precisely what you're asking your customer to do.
Let's say you're a professional and you have several services. It's easy to think that all the services need to have reasonably equal weight on your web page. If you're selling a product, and the product has several features, then it's again easy to believe that you need to somehow stuff your headline with all the possible features.
And as if that's not enough you go ballistic on the rest of the page
You try to stuff all your services/product features in the body copy in order to tell your client that it's all important—and that it's all important right now. And customers aren't so kind on websites (Or restaurants) for that matter. If someone overloads your plate, you simply get confused and dislike the experience. Then you walk away.
And that's the danger.
The danger is the overload.
Ok, so you understand the concept of overload right? But how do you go about creating a page that gives all the information needed, without overloading. And yes, without leaving anything out?
You do it exactly the way the restaurant does.
Choose one service to begin with. Let's say you're a lawyer, for example. And let's say you're really good at ‘home conveyance for expatriates'. Well talk about the home conveyance. Tell me what problem you solve for me. Tell me how your services may well be more expensive but why I must consider you. Tell me enough without jumping me across from service to service to service all at once.
And if you're selling a product, the very same concept applies.
Tell me the biggest problem that you solve. Drive home that problem for a bit. Two paragraphs, three paragraphs. Let me enjoy what I'm reading. Let me chomp a bit into the subject matter. When I've had enough, I'll be ready for the next feature. And the next. And the next. One by one.
Let's take an example: We sell an Article Writing Course. Now what would you use article writing for? Ooh, let me count the ways. It could be to write articles for your newsletter; write content for your website; create outstanding presentations; develop superbly built video content for YouTube; write press releases that make you look like a pro…(You want me to stop any time soon?)
Every product or service has dozens of features
Every product solves dozens of problems and brings dozens of solutions. But if you go to the page on the Article Writing Course, we don't deal with all the problems all at once. All we talk about is one problem. And we drive home that problem. Two, three, four paragraphs. Same problem. Then we move to the next and the next.
Just like our meal at the Pintxo bar
It's easy for us to drink the beers (hic), then eat the pintxos and then wash it all down later with ice-cream and coffee. And if you do it in sequence, or, at least separately, then I'm interested. And I'll stay for the “meal”. And enjoy the meal.
Isolate the services. Explain them.
Isolate the product features. Explain them one by one.
Isolate. Isolate. Isolate.
Do you want to drive your customers away? Or make them stay? The choice is yours.
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Great article.. You have inspired me to re do my website.. 🙂
Jeremy Reeves says
I think you’re absolutely right – focus on too many different things at the same time and you simply confuse the reader.
I like to think of this point like this:
People come to your website and continue reading for 1 specific reason (usually). Even though they might be interested in a few things, there is ALWAYS one issues which stands out – so dive deep into that and stop doing the shotgun approach!
Sean D'Souza says
@mike: That’s good to hear 🙂
@Jeremy: Correct. But so few people implement it.
Christie Macartney says
Well, I definately need to make a change to my site and just simplify.