Ultimately, your web site has to fill a need in your visitors. It’s not enough to state that your widget is the smallest, the fastest or that you are the best, but you need to express how that additional speed, size or ability is going to serve your visitors. If you tell your visitors that your mousetrap is the fastest, they’ll yawn, but if you tell them that they will catch more mice with it, well then you have something!
That is the difference between a feature and a benefit. A feature is a description of your product or service, while a benefit answers, “what can it do for me”. The first step in describing your benefits is to recognize a “problem” your visitor might have when they came to your site. For example, most people will visit my site if they are looking for web development or Internet marketing advice. The first thing they see is a list of services immediately followed by how it can increase their businesses exposure and thus their bottom line. I recognize that this is a broad statement, but it makes the point. The visitor’s need is to get online or improve their existing site either cosmetically or in search engine placement, otherwise they would not be on my site. The benefit of doing business with Ward Design Solutions is, I can increase their business. The fact that I include a free hour consultation is a bonus to the visitor and a non-threatening way to generate interest.
Several of my clients are in the services industry, which is more complicated in terms of nailing down benefits vs. features of their services. I recommend that they position themselves as an expert in their field. The method by which that is accomplished is by providing information, as much as they can, to show (prove) themselves as someone who should be contacted. Service sites do not usually have a “buy now” button (unless you sell information, i.e.: e-books, online classes, but that’s another article), so you have to create the need in a more subtle fashion. Give the visitor a reason to come back, update information, articles, class schedules and tips often. Allow the visitor to join a mail list for your newsletter (if you don’t have one yet, get one). If you provide advise (which we all do in some way) make it relevant to your target market and diversify your topics. The more often a visitor returns to your site, the more likely you will be the one they call or contact. Make he benefits of doing business with your company clear and concise. Can you make employees more productive? Organize their operations? Don’t those service increase their profits, production, etc……?