How can you make your messaging stronger on your website? Make it “scan-friendly” — make sure the key points of your message are what people see when they scroll quickly through it. In this week’s episode of What’s Missing From This Message?, I walk you through what I see on Stability Health’s VERY scan-friendly site. Don’t forget to subscribe so you get the videos as soon as they’re posted!
Often, web copy and web design are developed separately, or at least sequentially. A designer comes up with a general idea of the look and feel. You go off and write copy for it. Then the designer comes back in and puts the copy in the design.
At that point something usually breaks. Either the design doesn’t work as well anymore, or the copy gets emphasized in strange ways… and then the edits begin.
When that process works well, you get a site like Stability Health’s, where the team working on it found a great balance between what visual components would draw attention and what parts of their messaging needed that attention most. The result? A website that survives the scroll. Scrolling through their homepage, you end up reading the bits and pieces that, taken together, communicate their message effectively.
That’s absolutely what I noticed first about their site, which is why most of my review focuses on how to make the most of the moments where “interesting” and “important” overlap. Here are some of the lessons you can take away from that:
- Make sure your hero headlines are doing as much work for you as they can. Don’t just give them the answer of your idea, give the question it answers, too.
- Use design elements to reinforce information. Stability Health has two distinct audiences, each with a dedicated button they can click through to get more, and more tailored, information. The result is that I know who they serve quickly. I didn’t have to wade through a paragraph of copy. They do a similar thing at the bottom of the page, when they present their three key differentiators in separate blocks.
- Read your copy with an outsider’s eye… and out loud. Make sure you define key terms and keep your sentence structure short.
What did you see? Let me know!One lesson to make your website scan-friendly: use design elements to reinforce information. Click To Tweet
How do you make a scan-friendly website homepage even stronger? That’s what we’re talking about on this episode of “What’s Missing From This Message?” I’m Tamsen Webster.
Let’s take a look at the webpage for stabilityhealth.com, which was sent to me by Michael Aspinwall. The very first thing you’ll notice about this page is that it is great and scan-friendly. Great, nice big hero image in the front, a great tagline that’s welcoming. People look happy, and there are some really clear, great techniques that they’re using just to make sure that their message stands out. Michael Aspinwall is the one who sent it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can do this with your message too.
Let’s take a look at how to make this good, scan-friendly website even stronger. Now, what makes a scan-friendly website? Well first, that there’s something that we clearly are supposed to read when we get to the page, and in this case, that’s the headline of “Welcome to Stability Health.” Then they’ve got this tagline here of “Transforming the Standard of Diabetes Care Management for All.” A welcoming image, something that we’re supposed to read. Then if you keep scanning, you’ll see the next big thing that you see is the “I am a Participant,” “I am a Provider.”
Now, there is a block of text here which I think the vast majority of people would probably skip on the first scan. We’ll come back to that. But what I like here, particularly at the bottom, is if they do continue to scan, there is this section right here at the bottom that says “The Stability Health Difference,” and it really gives kind of three distinct things that are really useful, I think, for people to know about Stability Health.
These are all the things I think that are making this webpage work pretty well right now. But let’s talk about how Stability Health could make their message even stronger here. The first thing is with this tagline that you see in “Transforming the Standard of Diabetes Care Management for All,” what I want to point out there is that when you are talking about transforming, it’s really helpful for people to understand transforming from what to what. Because otherwise, it’s kind of a general statement that people don’t really understand — “oh, this is something I haven’t heard before.”
I know something you have heard before from me is that any time we give somebody kind of a one-line about our organization or our business or ourselves, it’s best when we can give them something they want via a means they didn’t expect. So, people here may want to transform the standard of diabetes care management for all, but the unexpected piece is that I don’t quite know anything about how. Good news is, as I said before, there’s good content lower on the page that I think that they could potentially bring up here to help us understand what’s the difference.
Now, I already said I love this division between “I am a Participant” and “I am a Provider.” You’re welcome to dive more into these yourselves. But on these kinds of quick, “What’s Missing From This Message” videos, I only really look at the homepage because that’s where people will make all their decisions. But let’s look at this next block of text.
Now, I said before that generally, people are probably going to skip to this bottom piece and then go back up and read. That’s kind of like the way that people go. If they’re interested in what they see at the bottom, they’re going to come back up. So, let’s take a look at what we’ve got here.
Now, there’s a lot to like here. I like how they talk about “we have one mission, to improve the lives of people with diabetes.” That lets us know who they are, what they care about, and what they’re all about. Now, these next two pieces are a place where I think they’ve got some raw material to put up into that tagline to make it a little bit stronger.
They’re asking questions that participants or providers would naturally ask, and that’s great because it means that they’re thinking through the language and the struggles and the goals of the people they’re talking to, and they’re leading with that. Bravo, Stability Health. They’re saying, “Have you ever felt like your diabetes care was missing something that, that even with the tools and technology, you’re not achieving what you’re looking for?” and “If you’re a provider, do you find yourself searching for a way to deliver effective personalized diabetes care?”
I love that these two things plus this next line really get into how they think about it, that they want people to know that you’re not alone in those questions and that they are here to help you solve that. Now, the way they answer that is this sentence right here, that “Stability Health is a coordinated care management system that uses proprietary tools, technologies, and support services to help people with diabetes and their providers achieve better diabetes management and improved quality of life.”
The first thing is it’s always an interesting test because when we read information, we can actually take in more information than when we speak it. But it’s a really good test to see whether or not your written information actually is a little bit too long if you try to say it out loud. We’ve talked about that on previous videos. But a couple of things here: one is I think that there’s utility in flipping some of this information here because again, the proprietary tools, technology, and support system, I want to know a little bit more about that. I think we’re meant to kind of conclude from the previous paragraphs kind of what they do with those proprietary tools and technologies. But I still haven’t heard what it does that I want, right?
Again, if you’re going to come to this summary statement about yourself, and in this case, a longer version of it, make sure you’ve got those two pieces. How is it something that I want, and how is it something that I don’t expect? The raw material for both of those are in this sentence, but I think this is a place to spend a little bit more time and pull a little bit more information out.
Those two places are first. What do you mean by “coordinated care management system?” Now, I will admit not being an expert in this area, that that may be a phrase or a term that people are really familiar with. I’m going to guess potentially though that your average participant, your average person with diabetes, may not know what that means.
Whenever you introduce a term like that, make sure you define it. Yes, that probably means you’re going to need to define it more clearly with more words, which probably means you’re going to need to break this sentence up a little bit. Or tell us what you’re doing with these proprietary tools, management, and support services so that you can avoid using coordinated care management system in the first place.
This is where the second place for the raw material comes in. You’ve got proprietary tools, technology, and support services in this message. But what are you doing with them? I know you’re helping people with diabetes and their providers achieve better diabetes management. But how? You could see something like, “Stability Health uses proprietary tools, technology, and support services to coordinate and make all of the information talk to each other across your entire diabetes experience. The result, you get better diabetes management and improved quality of life.”
Be more specific there. Now, I know that you are more specific down here and that this message is more specific down here. It’s great that it’s there, but I would love to see a little bit of the messages that are in this piece move up because when you read this piece it becomes pretty clear what they do that’s pretty different. They build a custom care plan for long-term success. They help you implement it, and they help you get back on track. I just want to get to a point with this message where there’s a little bit less shorthand with the terminology and a little bit more clarity around the concepts. Like I said, what’s great is that Stability Health already has that clarity around the concepts in their own minds. We just need to get some of that language into some of these summary statements.
Much thanks to Michael Aspinwall and the folks at Stability Health for sending me their super scannable website. If you are thinking about how to make your website stand out and your message work within it, take some of these lessons. Figure out how to make sure that in every instance where you can, you are taking elements of what people want by a means they don’t expect and embedding that in every piece of content that people see. Thanks so much for watching “What’s Missing From This Message.” I’m Tamsen Webster from tamsenwebster.com.
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