Why Doesn’t Your Web Site Hold Anyone’s Attention?

Your web site is awful and nobody (but you) cares about it.
You have a site on the web, but it isn’t helping you.  Your web site is probably something that, at one time, you poured a lot of money and time into.  You hired who you thought was a responsible designer (don’t worry, I did, too) and what you got was full of great copy, some flashy bells and whistles and a huge bill.  So you sat back and waited for the business to pour back in…and waited, and waited, and waited.

But it never came in, did it?

Why?  Why isn’t anyone reading your copy?  Why aren’t they impressed by your bells and whistles graphics and sounds?  Why don’t they buy you?

Simple: Your web site is awful and nobody (but you) cares about it.  That’s harsh, but true.

 If your internet presence isn’t drawing people to you, it’s because nobody cares.  They aren’t reading your “superb” copy.  They aren’t impressed with your “WOW” graphics, flashes and sound bites. They just don’t care for your sales pitch.

“But I spent all that money!” you say.  Sorry.  Somebody saw you coming with stars in your eyes and money in your pocket.  They wanted your money and showed you more stars.  They designed something that you, and only you care about.

Why don’t people like what you paid for?

Again, simple.  In fact you already know the answer.  It’s as simple as looking at what you look for in other web sites.

First, are most people on the internet readers or scanners?   They are readers.   They stop by web sites for a few seconds and if nothing appeals to them; if it takes forever to load up all the whiz-bang graphics; if they have to scroll down to read your copy, they just move on. Is your home page designed for readers or scanners?  You knew this when you started out. You scanned other web sites (or at least we hope you did) to see what you liked best.  The ones you stopped at, you copied. Bingo! They hooked you as you scanned.

Having said that, scanners aren’t impressed by bells and whistles.  The people you are targeting want a service, their problems solved, their questions answered.  They don’t want a cartoon show.  They don’t want fluff instead of substance.  They don’t want “More Info” (don’t get me started on that one).

Is it optimized for search engines to find?  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) drives business to you or keeps it away. ‘Nuff said.

Finally, your web site is awful because it is probably designed to appeal to you, NOT the people you are targeting.  You like it and that is all that matters to you.  Or worse, other people in your industry who compete with you  like it.  You looked as the sites of companies who do what you do and you copied them.  So now you are fighting for the same customer and scanner/reader base they are working with.  Lame… and dishonest.

What can you do to start fixing it?  Find out what the people you want to come to your site want and give that to them.  Be current.  My site  talks about the economy, because like it or not, it is still front page news.  It makes my message on the site current – not something I wrote in 2008 or 2009.  It looks like I am living in 2010 (and looking at 2011) – not  two years ago. 

Understand that I am still figuring it out.  I tweak, alter, play with and overhaul the site all the time, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that it appeals to the people I am targeting, not other people who do the same thing I do.  I spend time getting closer to my customers, not my competition (but that’s an article for another day).

Good luck and let me know what you are doing that makes you unique and different on the web.

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1 Response to “Why Doesn’t Your Web Site Hold Anyone’s Attention?”


  1. 1 Nancy Harrison August 23, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    As a web designer, this was good stuff to read! Great advice – design for your target market. To do that, you have to KNOW your target market. I’ll be bringing this message to my clients. Thanks, Jim.

    Will we see you on the dance floor again at Executive Women International’s (EWI) Leadership Conference & Annual Meeting 2010?


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