Online Brochure or Website

By: Thomas Young

There are major differences between a standard print brochure and a Website.  The biggest difference is that the traditional brochure rarely acts as a results based marketing tool.  In fact, most brochures end up in the trash or filed away.  A Website, on the other hand can generate leads, drive sales and directly grow the business.  Therefore, it is important to question the need for brochures and their expensive budgets.

So why are most Websites made to look like brochures and filled with brochure-ware copy?  Because few people know how to market on the Internet effectively and many take the easy way out and convert their brochure into a Website.

The Evidence

Here’s how you know if your Website is an online brochure:

  • The Website was designed and content was copied from a brochure.
  • The Website is not getting conversions.
  • The bounce rate is above 50%.
  • A design firm wrote the Website copy.
  • The Website uses clip art and many graphics.
  • The Website has many large blocks of text and no captions on photos.
  • The content is focused on the company and less the visitors.
  • The Website does not meet user needs.

Examples

Here is an example of brochure-ware copy similar to what is found on many Websites:

“Since 1985 we have provided cutting edge solutions for our customers with a commitment to world-class support and superior relationships with our partners and suppliers.  Our mission is to do the best we can to meet your needs in a timely fashion and provide you the best solutions available today.”

When you combine that content with a tagline like: “Innovative, cutting edge, a great value and dependable,”  you have brochure copy at its best.  What company would not want to do these things? What value do users get from this copy?  Also, the copy is generic and interchangeable with just about any business. This does nothing for users.

Recommendations

Here are a few suggestions on how to transform your Website from an online brochure to a dynamic marketing tool that gets results for your sales team and markets your business.

  • Cut down the content on the Website and use bullet points.
  • Use only descriptive value-added content and focus on benefits.
  • Replace clip art with real photos or use clip art to tell a story.
  • Use captions on photography and communicate a message with those captions.
  • Avoid too many design elements that have no purpose or function.
  • Develop content that moves visitors to action and results in a conversion.
  • Put “how-to” content in a resources section and use a lot of content in this section.

It’s fine to have a consistent look and feel and logo between your brochure and Website, but not OK to make your site look too much like your brochure.

Take these steps to transform your Website from a brochure to an interactive marketing tool that has great ROI and gets results.


Thomas Young is CEO and President of Intuitive Websites, a Colorado Springs based Internet marketing, Website design and usability firm. To learn more about Intuitive Websites contact Tom at 719-481-4040 or tom@IntuitiveWebsites.com.

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