The story you’re about to read is more true than you might imagine. The names have been changed out of human decency.

I’m IT Director for Megalosurance Worldwide Global International, a health insurer in Razor Bump, Arkansas (but we think big), writing coverage for self-employed adults (which is to say, people over the age of 26 — see “Healthcare, U.S.“).

I spend my days randomly surfing websites. One day, I landed on the site of VaporWare UltiSystems. Wow! It had a huge logo and bold-face type in all capital letters that explained exactly why what they do is so important to them. It had really big pictures to illustrate what I won’t read. And it was wallpapered with charts, graphics, diagrams, and schematics. With such little textual explanation, it left my imagination free to fill in its myriad blanks with my every wanton wish and capricious need.

I’d never heard of VaporWare UltiSystems or gotten one referral to them. I’d never seen one ad from or one article about them. I’d never seen them at a tradeshow. I’d wasn’t aware of one company in which they were implemented — nothing that would have led me to their site before that fateful, life-changing day. But I knew I’d been delivered from the void.

I strode resolutely down the hall to my boss’s office and intoned in my boldest, most self-empowered voice:

“J.R.! we’re going to allocate our three-million-dollar software budget VaporWare UltiSystems this year!”
“VaporWare UltiSystems.”
“What is it, precisely, they’re going to do for us?”
“I don’t know. But they have a really big logo on their site, the most graphics I’ve ever seen, and almost no white space!”
“On your way out,” J.R. said flatly, “grab that slip off of Miss Skivortz’s desk, would you please? The pink one.”

The moral of this story is simple: No one is going to arrive at your B2B site without reason, without having some idea of what you do beforehand. They won’t get there randomly. They most likely won’t get there from keyword searches. If they haven’t been driven to your site by advertising, marketing communication, or referral, they will have searched by brand name — company, product, or service — or they will have searched for the name of one of your company’s employees.

Big logos aren’t magnets. Graphics don’t attract traffic. Blocks of bold text don’t constitute effective presentation. Filling every pixel doesn’t command attention. Rainbow colors don’t inspire sales inquiries. And no one — NO ONE — will make a buying decision based on a website, let alone a self-indulgently packed, densely incommunicative, obtusely unpersuasive one.

Show some respect. Let your site visitors — who find you because they looked for you — also find what they want (to know). Give them a clean, navigable presentation free of clutter. Give them readily accessible content. And let them be on their way.

If your site is good, you’ll know it because they’ll be back.

Image by Nemo, courtesy of