The Microwave Effect…

Remember when you were a kid (I hope so), and you played tag?  It was a fun game where you were deemed “It” or became “It” once you were tagged.  It also included a safe zone that when you were standing in it or touching it, your were safe from being tagged “It”.  Where I lived we called the safe zone “Home Base”.

The game of marketing your business is kinda like playing a game of tag…  you want to be tagged as the “It” thing, and you want people to go to your home base.

Home Base

In this game of tag… your website should be home base.  It's the place that you want to drive all your followers and potential customers. You use a variety of tools that you hope will get you tagged “It”.  This could include Social Networking, Email Marketing, Face-To-Face Networking and more. Getting tagged “It” could and should lead to a click or a link to your website.

question markThis is the point that separates the men from the boys or the women from the girls. What are you linking them too?  What is your intent for them once they get there?  Do you make it easy for them to understand what you want them to do and are they convinced and willing to follow your lead or instructions? In this short attention span theater and “What's In It For ME?” world, can you keep them focused (oh look…  SQUIRREL???).

If you want people to keep playing tag, you have to give them a reason.  What tools do you use?  A Blog is a good choice, otherwise you have to constantly update your content to give them something new to look at each time they return.

 The Microwave Effect

There is a common practice with websites I like to call “The Microwave Effect”.  When microwaves came out there were all kinds of different user interfaces.  Some had buttons, other dials and others had some combination of both.  After a while of retail evolution…  every microwave has a button called “Popcorn”  You push it and it senses the bag of microwave popcorn, and cooks it to perfection.

Today on the internet…  people expect your website to have the microwave popcorn button. Let me explain.

People (and search engines) expect certain pages to have certain content, and in a certain order.  They expect your home page to be called “Home” (not “Welcome” or “Yo Dewd”), “About Us” to be about you and your company and usually right next to home, and your “Contact” page is usually the last page.

So can your website pass our “Tag You're It” test?

  1. Are your menus and navigation simple and easy to understand?  Will people instinctively know where to click to get their questions answered?
  2. Is your phone number at the top of every page?  Is it clear that you want people to “CONTACT” you?
  3. Are each of your pages around 300 words?  That is the most common amount of text that both people and search engines will read.
  4.  Is it clear what you expect people to do? Do you have a Special Offer, Call to Action, or do you give them ANY reason to come back again?
  5. Are you educating them about something or constantly selling something? If they like what you are telling them do they have the ability to share it?

The best advice I can give is take notes of which websites you interact with the most.  Do they follow most or all of these rules? What do you like about them?  Do they keep you engaged and have a obvious path to follow.  Is their call to action clear and compelling?

That's all for now… I'm hungry and going to make some popcorn.  Let me know your thoughts by commenting on this post… and Contact Us” href=””>Contact Us if you have any questions!




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    […] a past post I talked about the “Microwave Effect“. People (and search engines) expect certain pages to have certain content, and in a certain […]

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