What are people really looking for when they visit your website? What makes them linger a little longer, and click to view one more page? And then, ultimately give your business a shot?
Obviously having a website now is a no-brainer. It falls along the same lines of importance as having a business name.
But, is it enough to just have a website? To check it off the list? Are visitors good with canned videos and stock photos, and content that feels like every other website page they visit? Or, are they expecting something more?
I’ve spent a good portion of my life trying to better understand people and their behaviors. People (and why they make the choices that they do) are absolutely fascinating to me. I went to school for it. I’ve filled positions that have always required me to constantly be learning about human choices. And, few days go by where I’m not a (self-proclaimed) Chief People Watcher.
This got me thinking that people don’t just go to a website, particularly a fitness website, because they are “looking for a gym”. It’s 9 times out of 10 much deeper.
So what is it? What’s the deeper drive that’s urging them to do that Google search?
Was it getting on the boat this past weekend and seeing someone’s six pack, and consequently feeling self-conscious about how they look? Was it the realization that they are becoming their parents who lived an unhealthy lifestyle? Was it that a good friend (who they thought was in good shape) just had a heart attack? Was it that bag of potato chips… all in one sitting? Or maybe it was that they had a hard time keeping up with their three year old over the weekend?
Whatever the reason, they are looking for something more. Something different. A possible solution they can trust.
Sandwiched in between the bookends of getting physiological needs met (food, shelter, rest) and arriving at the self-actualization of reaching one’s full potential in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, sits three core things we all crave.
These include: safety, belonging, and mattering.
Within the realm of safety they are looking for an environment where they can grow and become more like the person they are meant to be – without the fear of harm, ridicule, or embarrassment. They know they’re not where they want to be, but they need a place where it’s safe to explore how to evolve into that person.
This means that they are part of an environment where they just fit in. Plain and simple. They are part of a tight-knit tribe who pushes each other to be the very best, and gives high fives all along the way of that becoming. Everybody rows in the same direction and has each other’s back. When they walk into a room, they immediately “know” if they belong there… or not.
If safety and belonging are the ice cream and whipped cream of a sundae, this is the cherry on top. They don’t only belong there, but it matters when they’re not there. They are appreciated for who they are and the journey they are on. Each person contributes equally to the whole of the greater good of the group. When one is missing, all notice.
Believe it or not, they are looking for all three of these things when they begin to type in fitness, or gymnastics, or weight loss, or nutrition in their Google search bar.
Does your website speak to their ability to grow in an environment where they will be embraced? Does it speak to their pain points? Does it assure them that once someone becomes a part of your group, people notice when they don’t show up? Does it communicate that they will be celebrated with their progress?
Every word you choose to put on your website matters.
When someone is in explore mode on a hike or a vacation, every sense is heightened. Same goes with someone trying to understand a business. The words that are chosen, the images that get approved for your site, the videos that get posted, the encouragement that is given on Facebook and Instagram… it all says something.
And what it says will either make them want to keep clicking or close the window.
Take a minute to look at your website with fresh eyes and see what it says to you? It should be one of your very strongest sales tools, continuing to work even when the rest of the world is asleep. Is it communicating the heart of who you are as a business and why you are doing what you do?