“The value of whatever you are doing in cyber-space lives solely in the minds of your visitors.  They decide what value means to them, and then they look to you to see if you provide it.

So ask yourself if your persuasive system identifies the qualities of value that are important to your visitors.  Then ask yourself if your Web site truly communicates these values effectively.

Are you effectively selling your product’s benefits instead of just its features?  Does the style of your Web site equate with your value proposition?  Do you delight customers with the way you fulfill their orders, or do you merely satisfy or, even worse, disappoint them?  Do your Web site’s products and/or services address your customers’ deeply felt needs, or are you trying to push something they may not even want?  The customer readily must be able to determine your value to them; they shouldn’t have to guess.

We have found that successful Web site designers have a dominant characteristic: a high degree of empathy for visitors and their values.  Here’s how they do it:

– They sell a product/service for which there’s a true need (think, value needed).

– They understand that visitors are there voluntarily, so they entice and coax visitors, avoiding any sign of coercion (think, respect visitors’ value, the right to choose; in other words, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink-though you can entice them to take one sip at a time).

– Their presentation doesn’t assume visitors know anything, but it doesn’t insult their intelligence either (think, value of respecting visitors’ intelligence).

– They present necessary information when needed (think, value of “just in time”).

– They anticipate questions, fears, concerns (think, value of understanding).

– They emphasize consumers benefits, not just product features (think, value of benefits).

– They use copy (text) that helps their Web site rank well in search engines, because it’s relevant to visitors’ needs when seeking ways to solve problems (think, value of keywords for search engine relevance).

– They employ hyperlinks filled with keywords that speak to visitors’ questions, laced with benefits that jump out and let them know they’re on the right track to achieving their goals (think, value of hyperlinking keywords to benefits).”