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Web Site Content—It's All About the Why

by Jerry Bader  |  
December 9, 2008

Every week I'm asked to look at business Web sites and tell the owners why they're not getting the results they want.

Some of these sites are straightforward brochures, others are e-commerce catalogs, and some are those direct-mail-style pitches reminiscent of old mail-order magazine subscription schemes. Some have incorporated do-it-yourself audio and video, and some even have such media professionally produced... but, still, the results stink. Why?

'The Close' Is Always Found in 'The Why'

Certainly part of the problem stems from a very narrow definition of what a Web site is: by casting your site in terms of a brochure, catalog, e-commerce-site, blog, or portal, you are falling into the trap of concentrating on "The What" rather than "The Why."

This focus on "The What" is exacerbated by some search engine optimization techniques intended to drive traffic rather than to brand product, sell services, or convert traffic into customers. Traffic is important, but converting that traffic into paying customers is more important. Even the best and brightest search engine optimizers will tell you that their job is to deliver traffic, not orders—closing the deal is your job, and anybody who tells you that closing can be done by means of some automatic never-touched-by-human-hands method is just plain nuts.

What you want to be careful of is search-engine tactics and second-rate media that actually get in the way of effectively delivering your marketing message—of telling your business story, creating a memorable brand image, and above all generating profitable business clients.

Web Video Is a Presentation-Marketing Strategy

If you pay any attention to what's going on, you must be aware of the shift in Web thinking and the acceptance of Web video as a fundamental Web-marketing tool. But like most things, there is a right way and a whole bunch of wrong ways to do it.

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Jerry Bader is senior partner in MRPwebmedia (, a website-design firm that specializes in Web audio and video. Contact him via or (905) 764-1246.

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  • by Paul Gothier Thu Dec 11, 2008 via web

    I have yet a different paradigm. I believe in interntet Presentations. Same is if I was presenting to a CFO. Starts with CAPTURE the attention of the audience with unique question or tag line. Adds or Identifies 3 to 5 major "Take Aways" in a simple (non -confusing) multimedia explanation (meaning great images & eloquent copywriting).

    A summary closing on takeaways and a Compelling (Incentive Driven) Call to Action.

    Thank you,
    Paul Gothier

  • by MyQute Sat Jan 3, 2009 via web

    Yes, kids sell naturally! One talks about a game he loves and the rest of the kids get hooked too! Excellent article, Jerry! Thanks!

  • by Melissa Blevins Tue Jan 6, 2009 via web

    Thanks for the article. Do you have any examples of sites that do this exceptionally well?

    Melissa Blevins

  • by Eric Larson Wed Feb 11, 2009 via web

    Thanks for the good article - I've been looking for more tips on compelling web content because I agree that the "why" is the stuff we're all looking for on the web.
    Video content is great, but we always run into the "quality vs. cost" equation. We're going to test some different levels of video production to see what people want.

  • by Jessica Johns Pool Tue Jun 30, 2009 via web

    Jerry, Love the conviction rate stat!

  • by Paul Gothier Wed Jul 1, 2009 via web

    I use to think images wow'd and made all the difference. Until a great copywriter taught me's even better when you guide the audiences thinking about the images with great tag lines (copywriting).

    Wow them and move them to the point, the message, the value!

    paul g.
    RTP Designs, LLC
    Cell: 919-215-3839

  • by Ken Jansen Tue Jul 21, 2009 via web

    Hi Jerry,

    Great article. A great read on presentations is Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte. Also, The Back of a Napkin by Dan Roam. Both talk about how the most successful people in business are great presenters, can grab peoples attention and deliver a memorable message in a short period of time. Nice job.

    Ken Jansen

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