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How to Make a Web Site Memorable

by Debbie MacInnis  |  
January 1, 2001

You do everything possible to get people to visit your site. You consult with top advertising agencies…you conduct a free-media campaign…you buy airtime on TV and radio, and purchase banner space on top Internet sites. You even pass fliers out at the local mall parking lot, just for the fun of it.

And guess what - it works.

But how do you get your visitors to remember your site once they leave? It's an important question, because etching your website into your customers' minds is central to fostering brand name awareness. Failure to do so risks losing all that traffic you managed to drive to your site to begin with.

So then, let's look at ways to make your website more memorable. MEMORY FOR WHAT?

First, understand that consumers can remember (or fail to remember) many things about your web site. Understanding what you want consumers to remember is important because only when you have nailed this down can you address issues of how you enhance memory.

Think about what you want consumers to remember. Is it your name or web address? What you do? How you are different from or better than other sites or companies? Do you want consumers to remember specific claims, logos of your product, what your product looks or sounds like? Perhaps you want them to remember that some respectable opinion leader endorses your product?

The answer to this question really depends on your market situation. A few guidelines may help.

New Market: If you are new in a market, probably the most important thing you can do is to enhance memory of your site name and/or web-address. If people know your name, they are more likely to perceive you as familiar and legitimate; the more familiar and legitimate you seem, the more likely people will consider spending time on your site and perhaps buying what you sell.

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Debbie MacInnis is the Charles L. and Ramona I. Hilliard Professor of Business Administration and a professor of marketing at USC's Marshall School of Business. She is co-author of a recent book on brand admiration, which blends years of best-practice thinking from academia with the real-world practice of marketing.

LinkedIn: Debbie MacInnis


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