Extracted from Chapter 9, Coherence: Get it Right Online. Build a clan and supercharge your business.
Coherence is the magnet that pulls all the pieces of your online world together; where you understand how each works with the other. It’s the flow of your content online. Coherence is integral to your research. It is also integral to achieving clarity around your offer.
The offer coffer
Creative entrepreneurial types are reluctant to delegate anything they know they can do well. The result, together with their constant idea generation, tends to translate into a jumble of colliding information online.
Without clarity and coherence on their one core offer, an entrepreneurs’ task of finding their most wanted visitor and involving them in their solution is compromised.
Patchwork solutions and style nightmares
Without defining why you do what you do for whom, a patchwork solution starts to appear online. Another unrealized website whipped up to cater for a new offer; a Facebook page unlinked to any content generation; a LinkedIn group that can’t be directed to a coherent stream of content.
These babble or are silent, but they don’t display the coherent face your online presence should.
On the other hand, large sites with multiple streams of information are usually bulky, unwieldy, unfriendly and incoherent. We don’t have the patience to click through endless pages scanning volumes of information for our solution. Web searchers want it all, now.
Nor should we ask our visitors to process a glut of boxes, videos, buttons, navigation options, images, fonts, calls to actions and downloads. When a site has fallen prey to the offer coffer, it’s sensory overload and your eye, index finger and brain don’t know where to start.
These sites are the equivalent of a style nightmare: tiara, Pollyanna plaits, spiked collar, business suit, leopard skin handbag, sheepskin boots and a Walt Disney back pack. Get the picture? How can you make sense of it? Mostly you don’t. You click off and go in search of a more eloquent solution.
On the other hand, if the site’s a princess, the tiara is elegantly matched with a gown, gloves and purse. If it’s a city professional, expect a suit, polished shoes, crisp shirt and silk tie.
You’re not required to embrace the nonsensical before you start to absorb the information.
Coherence is the key to providing your visitors with a one click experience.
It’s all about what you are positioning
Too many entrepreneurs jump online without first working out what they’re positioning – themselves as expert, their business, their best offer or their industry niche. Without clarity around positioning, how do you create meaningful content to match it and the key messages that support it?
Let’s look at an example:
Jo Smith has a company manufacturing green widgets and a website Smithandco.com. She bolts a blog onto the back of her business website, smithandco.com/blog to start communicating her mountain of valuable knowledge.
She could be the leading world expert on the manufacture of green widgets so how has she helped her cause by doing this?
Lets’ examine a few scenarios:
If her green widgets have the potential to seriously change the way we use energy and her purpose is to reduce the use of fossil fuels, then she is an educational voice in the field.
She might be better served with a website that can talk to influencers around the world about saving energy—savingenergy.com
If she is one of several green widget manufacturers and wants to position her business as THE green widget manufacturer, then she would do his best work from greenwidget.com
If she was the known expert in the field already and a speaker, author and authority on the subject, then she could position herself as THE expert—Josmith.com
Using keywords to structure your online world
Once you’ve established how you’re positioning yourself online, you’re much more easily able to organize your content into categories that support that position.
In a coherent website, the categories match your framework or process and these are in turn are matched to a search term used by the people looking for what you have to offer. Then every piece of content you produce acts like a building block to disseminate your key messages.
The more you research the search terms your visitors are using to find what you offer, the greater your clarity on how to present your content coherently.
By investing this time, you’ll build up a library of potential search terms that describes what you do. You’ll begin to filter these terms with an increasing focus on your current and future content, and a greater awareness of how to connect to your community.
Once you realize that people are using these terms to access the information you’re keen to deliver, you’ll understand that each has the potential to become an exquisite brush stroke on your cyber canvas.
If you fear you’ll struggle to find sufficient content, this research will prove the opposite. Your online presence will become a massive library over time.
How you set your website up determines how well that information is organized and delivered and how well it performs it’s job of positioning you and your authoritative solution.
Matching your pillars of information to your keyword research is pivotal to producing a coherent site for your visitors. At the same time, it will assist the search engines with a clear picture of your relevance to those looking for the information you provide.
If you want to know how to be coherent online, take your online temperature. It’s simple, insightful and a gift.