Does your website pass the 3-legged stool test?

You have a website to promote your business, but how well does it perform?

A good website needs three strong and stable ‘legs’ – these are:

Traffic – without people coming to your website it doesn’t matter how well-designed or compelling your message is
Design – if people take one look at your website and categorise it as ‘amateur’ they’ll just leave again
Message – no matter how many visitors you get and how beautiful your site is, without a powerful message to get their interest you might as well give up.

None of these elements work in isolation – all three have to be in place and constantly reviewed and refreshed.


  • The first step is to ensure that whoever developed your website has added all the relevant metatags, titles and snippets where they will best help traffic to find your site in searches.
  • Next make sure that your website address is on all your business communications – business card, stationery, email signature, marketing flyers, brochures – EVERYTHING.
  • Then ensure all your social media profiles include your website address and that you’re active so people see you and want to check you out (be careful what you post – but that’s another blog)
  • Finally, include links to your websites in all your online posts – to relevant pages. That’s why a blog is such a good idea as it allows you to share valuable information without selling ‘at’ people.

Unless you’re a designer, get a professional involved, but give them a clear brief or you’ll end up with an ‘OK’ site, rather than one you’re excited about.

  • Keep it simple, don’t overcrowd it or give people too many choices.
  • If you need to have moving images remember that, for people to read your message, they need to concentrate and stop-start animation is not only distracting, but downright annoying and, at its worst, stressful. Slow and gentle is best.
  • Stick to one block of text – columns make your reader work hard for their information and some won’t.
  • If you want people to click make it obvious that they can – bold, coloured text doesn’t necessarily mean a clickable link, but most people understand that underlined text is a hyperlink.


  • Know your customers. What do they want? What interests them? What makes them want more? Use this information to create engaging and compelling headlines.
  • Write about them, not you (e.g. NOT ‘We do X’, but ‘You can have X’)
  • Don’t give people too much detail – they just need to know ‘what’s in it for me?’ so focus on benefits and emotional triggers.

If you pay attention to all the legs you’ll have a strong and stable website that gets results.

Written by Lesley Morrissey

Lesley Morrissey

I’ve written since I was at Primary School and achieved ‘fame’ by having a poem read on the BBC Schools programme at the age of 9! Since then I’ve written features for newspapers and magazines and, this century, commercial copy for businesses big and small.

The aim is to persuade my client’s target audience to take action so copy needs not only to be in their ‘voice’, but also to be written for the reader full of juicy benefits.

In other lives I’ve been a training manager, an HR manager, a quality director and a speaker.

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