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Why Great Web Design Doesn’t Impress Anybody, Anymore

April 01, 2014  /  by  Michael Westafer

The Zero Moment of Truth

Recent statistics about Internet usage shouldn’t surprise you anymore.

  • 81% of businesses start the buying process with search (Demandgen, 2012)
  • 79% of consumers now say they use smart phones to help with shopping (Google, 2011)
  • 83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest them (Google, 2011)

This news isn’t shocking – it’s old. You already know that your customers are online looking for your company, products and/or services. You already know that they expect to find information about you.

When they eventually land on your website, consumers expect that you will make a good first impression with a professional, attractive and nicely designed website. They expect that your website will look great, and that it will be easy to use.

I emphasize the word expect because great web design isn’t a differentiator – it’s a business requirement! Just like we expect parking lots to have lights, grocery stores to have shopping carts and restaurants to have eating utensils – web users expect businesses to have websites that are professional and easy to use.

Alone, great web design will not impress your audience or set you apart from the competition.

So what should you do?

Differentiate Yourself as a Leader

If you want to capture your audience’s attention, you must learn how to differentiate yourself as an industry leader during the most crucial time in the consumer’s decision-making process. According to Google, that crucial time is called the Zero Moment of Truth – or simply ZMOT. This concept is explained by author Jim Lecinski, VP of Sales & Service at Google, in the book titled ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth.

In short, ZMOT is the moment when a consumer opens their laptop, or grabs their mobile device, and starts learning about a product or service in order to help them make a buying decision. During this search, consumers visit search engines, review sites, product comparison sites, video sites, and of course, your website.

There are a lot of things you can do to impact the search experience, but your company’s website is the only online arena that you can fully control. Therefore, your website should be used as a powerful tool that aids consumers in the decision-making process.

Before buyers make a decision, they are hungry for information. Think about the questions your audience is asking about your industry, products and services - and then give them the answers on your websites through articles, testimonials, videos, photos, fact sheets, whitepapers, case studies, product showcases, demos, comparison charts, and more.

In the end, the look and feel of your website is just a starting point – it’s the message and content that will attract visitors, differentiate your brand and convert.

So don’t just build a website. Instead, create a digital marketing asset that provides value to your audience. This is how you will get the online results you want and deserve.