When prospects arrive at your business website, what are they trying to do? Are they taking valuable time from their day so they can…
- Enjoy a nice graphic of smiling people with vague words about connecting and empowering?
- Read your most recent news release?
- See what conferences you’re going to be attending in the coming 6 months?
Probably not. Yet those items almost always have prime real estate on B2B business websites.
Chances are they are investing time to solve a real problem, and hoping that you might have solutions or guidance. And – here’s the kicker – a large number of the visitors are probably trying to do a fairly small number of tasks.
Unfortunately, that task information is often buried deep in the site – making it likely that visitors will click around, get sidetracked, or even abandon the site altogether for a more helpful competitor.
The term “long neck” is meant to be the other side of the long tail, and describes the small number of tasks that represent a disproportionately large amount of traffic. If you optimize for the long tail instead of the long neck, you’ll lose prospects.
So why is it that when we set out to create content for a business website, we focus on the business instead of the customer? Because it’s easier. We know the business. We’re not so sure about the customer – even in the B2B technology space, where we might know the prospect’s title or industry.
The book offers a methodology for finding the tasks and then the words that resonate with your prospects. It’s not specific to B2B, but it is certainly relevant. I’d recommend reading it.
At least think about what people are trying to achieve on your site. Think about your buyer personas and their needs, then look at your website with fresh eyes. Have you made the most important tasks visible from the home page? From relevant landing pages? Is navigation clear and easy? And are the eyes distracted by irrelevant information, important only to your own team?