Merge, Expert Speaker at Clemson’s Masters of Science in Marketing Class You’re Hiring: Web Managers
Sep 01

On I-85, between Greenville and Atlanta, there are a series of billboards that make me laugh. They don’t make me laugh because they are good, they make me laugh because they are impossible to read and I wonder what in the world the ad agency that did them was thinking.

See, the thing is, you’re going about 80 mph, talking on your cell phone, so you have about 3 seconds to read the billboard. For these billboards in question, there’s no chance you will pick up half of what they’re trying to say.

Isn’t that about the same thing with web sites? We have about 3 seconds, we’re talking on the phone and surfing the web and we come across a web page (billboard). Does it grab us? Do we get it? Do we know what the company does?

Zoom. We fly by and go to the next web site.

Back to the billboards. One company that I think has it right is Cracker Barrel. They’re “Comin’ up” campaign has one main image, their logo and a 5 word (large type) slogan — ending in “Comin’ up.” For instance (sorry, this was the largest image I could get):

Cracker Barrel Billboard

conveys Quality, Fast and Convenient, Wholesome, Good, Filling, etc. All in 4 words and one picture. They nail the brand messaging, and do it with an easy, simple approach. Remember, these are billboards so you have to keep it simple! Simple is what you have to do when you’re creating a billboard.

And it’s not much different for web sites. You have 3 - 10 seconds to grab the attention of the user and make sure they know what you do and why they need it. Big image. Simple messaging. Then send them to the next page-that’s the role of the home page.

Bottom line: Think billboards when you’re designing (or redesigning) your web site. Make the message easy to get, and your users will stick around.

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