One of my favorite shows on TV today is House Hunters International. I know it’s not real but I don’t care. It is the reason I learned how to use the DVR settings on our television and that is saying something. I record all the episodes and I can watch them whenever I want. Sometimes I watch the whole episode, commercials and all. Sometimes I skip the commercials. Sometimes, if the buyer or renter is particularly annoying — and trust me, they can be really annoying — I will skip right to the end and just watch the last five minutes. This is the beauty of House Hunters International. Each segment functions as its own episode.
Same format, different day
What exactly do I mean by that? Each segment has the same format – introduce the buyer or renter, tell where they are from, where they are looking to move, how much they want to spend, etc. The only thing that changes is the property. So, when I’m watching an aggravating couple who happen to have a four million dollar budget and they are looking for a charming flat in Paris, I can skip to the last segment and I will feel like I haven’t missed a thing.
The show gets it. By “it” I mean they get that people record their show. They get that someone might turn on the show in the middle or almost at the end. They plan for it. They don’t want me, the viewer, to feel left out or not understand what’s going on. It might seem repetitive to someone who watches the entire episode start to finish, but if you are watching it live you still have commercial breaks so it’s still a nice little review post-commercial. House Hunters International understands that TV viewing is not like reading a book.
Make your website friendly
What does this have to do with marketing? It has everything to do with online marketing, websites specifically. Your website is not a book. Your website should be like an episode of House Hunters International. It should not alienate me. It should not make me feel like I’m a dummy because I landed on the “Services” page instead of landing on the “Home” or “About Us” page. Each page should give me enough information so that I feel like I know what’s going on without having to rewind.
A website is not an online book.
People don’t necessarily start at the beginning, or home page, and read it to the end. In fact, you shouldn’t even think that there is a beginning and an end to your website. You should think of it as though it is an episode of House Hunters International. Your website visitor should be able to land on any one of your segments/pages and know, or feel like they know, what your story is. At the very least, they should know where you are located and how to get to your office and what types of services you provide. Sure, you can have a “Contact Us” page but would it really be a big deal to put your address and phone number on your home page or any of your other pages? No, it’s not a big deal and it sure makes it easier for the person in Reading, Washington to decide whether they want to continue looking at your site when they see you are located in New York City.
Want to create a better online experience for your website visitors? Think House Hunters International.