Have you ever visited someone in their home and almost felt unable to move in case you accidentally disturbed something? Have you ever walked into a store and found that it seemed almost impossible to find a sensible path to the specific items you wanted to look at?

Both of the above can be the result of ‘inside-out creation’. This is where the end result has been designed for the approval of the person creating it, rather than those visiting or wishing to use the facility. This can often happen when a site is being designed to maximise web content, or social media marketing opportunities are being exploited.

Taking off your shoes

The above comes from an old quotation: ‘To walk in someone else’s shoes, first take off your own’. So many people don’t – they, metaphorically at least, simply place them over the ones they are already wearing. The result is that their primary focus is ‘inside out’. Yet, to achieve conversion optimisation throughout a range of web or social media activities, the focus can only be on the searcher or visitor. This is why artists, when painting, often step back from the canvas to actually see the work as the audience eventually will.

Four ways that inside-out focus can damage performance

1. Focusing on the wrong areas

An example of this might be the launch of a new product or service. Those producing it are proud of all it can achieve and therefore want to convey this message to the world. However, outside of their bubble, those people undertaking web searches, or visiting social media are much more interested in what exactly it can do for them. The danger is that all the content has to say gains no more than a ‘so what’ reaction from the very people it should be exciting and enthusing.

2. Using inappropriate language

This isn’t referring to rudeness, or a lack of manners, but simply to the fact that every business has its own private language. This jargon is clearly understood by all insiders, who then use it on a regular basis, like a type of shorthand. It’s far too easy to forget that many of the potential customers any company wishes to talk to simply don’t have the same level of expertise. Much as you might hope they would make the effort to find out more, in reality they are much more likely to simply search elsewhere for an easier to understand solution.

3. Ignoring the obvious

If you’ve ever tried to find a new location by following road signs, you’ll often end up realising that they were erected by people who already knew where they were going! A sign at one turn-off might then be missing at the next, simply because the path to take is so well-known, indeed blatantly obvious, at least to the individual placing those signs. So, if road signs should be erected by strangers, the same can apply to online content. It is so easy to miss out key pieces of information, simply because the person writing that content has known about it for so long.

4. Creating a tortuous or incomplete journey

Like the first three points above, errors here are usually due to what might be called ‘sins of omission’. There is no deliberate attempt to confuse or conceal, simply a lack of taking that ‘artist’s step back’ to cast an outsider’s eye at the work. Therefore, for example, a visitor with no knowledge of the company might find the website difficult to navigate – and then give up on the attempt. A search for a specific item might only take the arriving visitor to a generic homepage – rather than a specifically-designed landing page. Again, asking them to make a ‘discovery’ effort might simply lead to their looking elsewhere.

Gaining that ‘outside-in’ insight

Asking an outside company to work on your website, search engine or social media marketing, brings that fresh insight of the outsider, married to rich experience in creating optimal content.

However, it is a two-way street. Any company undertaking such tasks needs to burrow inside the skin of your business and find out what really makes it tick. Once this has been achieved, you have the best chance to achieve a great win-win situation – professionally crafted content, created by an outsider, yet enhanced by using the expertise of those within that business.

Giving your website and social media an outside touch will enable you to create an experience for visitors that will drive them to take actions.

Related Tags: Social Media Marketing Newcastle | Web Developer Newcastle