Software marketing requires web designers to understand prospects
Most websites fail, Godin tells us, because their designers assume - incorrectly - that website visitors are intelligent and organized. Designers assume that web site visitors will read everything on each web page, and make informed decisions about how to move around the site.
Truth is, the people who visit websites like yours and mine are in a hurry, and they want to find what they're looking for quickly. Give them good choices immediately, or they'll choose their web browsers' back buttons.
The book's odd title, and the metaphor that Godin carries throughout the book, is that of a monkey wearing a fez, and searching for a banana. Monkeys and website visitors are interested only in finding the banana. Make it easy for them to find the prize, or they'll lose interest and look on somebody else's website.
Most of us design sites for people who are intelligent and patient. Not a good idea, Godin tells us.
Software marketing requires that we
keep prospects on our web pages
Your website is like a pachinko machine. Picture an upright pinball machine, loaded with dozens of falling stainless steel balls. You use flippers to try to influence the direction of the balls, and to keep them in play as long as possible.
Godin likens the stainless steel balls of the pachinko machine to our web site visitors. Our goal is to keep them on our site as long as possible, and to nudge them in the direction we want them to go.
Provide website visitors with exciting choices
The author looks at the pachinko machine - and the website - as a direct marketing vehicle. The marketer's job is to present website visitors with a series of enticing pages that will get them to make the decision that we want them to make. In the software industry, that might mean buying a software application, downloading the trial version, signing up for the newsletter, or visiting your blog.
Software marketing means converting shoppers into buyers
Godin points out that the closer the website visitors get to the bottom of the pachinko machine, the more valuable they are. They've already been on your website for some time, so they're obviously interested in what you're offering. So, Godin tells us, it's the deep pages in our websites that are the most important. We need to make sure that they convert shoppers into buyers.
How prospects navigate a web page
People look at a web page for three seconds, and decide what to do. Most click their "back" buttons. Some click some other link. Some read your page.
Make it obvious to your website visitors what you want them to do.
Amazon.com has trained millions of Internet users that navigation links are found on the left of the page, and "buy" links are found on the right. Take advantage of this convention. Use it, too.
Give website visitors simple goals
The monkey is only interested in finding the banana. Make it easy. And obvious.
Don't create a web page that tries to accomplish a bunch of things. Choose one, and concentrate on it.
What about the website visitors who are interested in something else that you offer? Well, you lose them. According to Godin, that's okay. Because if you try to concentrate on everything, then you'll lose nearly everybody.
How Godin's model relates to software marketing
In today's terms, perhaps the answer for those of us in the software industry is to rely upon Google for sending people to the right page, and make that page a sales vehicle for one particular product.
This is a very different approach than that which most software developers take. Most developers use their website's home page as the main landing page. They describe, say, four applications, and expect their website visitors to have the focus and patience and smarts to figure out which of the four apps they should purchase.
Godin urges us to take a different approach. Put one banana on each page.
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