The 3 Cs of a Successful Website

Back in 2009, while I was on my way home from a trip to visit family, I was struggling with a marketing problem – trying to figure out how to build an effective landing page. I prayed about it and I was blessed with a marketing revelation that, while simple and to the point, has been a key in changing the way I look at building businesses (and their websites). This simple revelation, within only a few short months of implementation, brought a client of ours a contract worth over $2M and it has led to thousands of successful sales.

The 3 Cs of a Successful Website

  1. Context
  2. Credibility
  3. Call To Action

Let’s dive right in.


When a visitor lands on your website, you only have a few seconds to get their attention before they’re gone. You need to give them an immediate context that says, “I have exactly what you’re looking for.”

Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Business/Project Name – Oftentimes, your business or project name will convey a basic sense of what it is you do. If this is the case, make sure you’ve made the most of it and you introduce your website with the right name.
  • 3-Second Speech – You need to be able to convey what it is you do in three seconds or less. Work on it until you’ve got it down. Once you have it down, use the text in a prominent place on your website to give context.


After you’ve established context, you need to give your visitors a clear and obvious reason to believe that you’re a credible authority and that you can help them.

Here are a few tips for establishing credibility:

  • Endorsements – Share what others have said about you and their experience working with you.
  • Photos – Share a personal photo, a photo of your office location, photos of your products, etc. Go for the highest quality possible and avoid using stock photography.
  • Videos – Show the product in use, give a quick tour of your office, share a brief message from the president, etc. Keep it simple and well done.

You’ll recognize a consistent theme here: let others establish your credibility.

Call To Action

This is where many websites fail. As you’ve established context and credibility, you must follow through with a clear call to action. To make it clear, your “call” needs to answer three basic questions:

  1. What do you want me to do? – Tell your visitors, very clearly, what it is you want from them.
  2. How do you want me to do it? – Don’t assume they know what the next step is, guide them clearly and let them know exactly what they need to do next.
  3. What’s in it for me? – Why should they care? What do they get for doing what you’ve asked them to? This is the “benefit”. Don’t talk about the features of your great product or service, outline clearly the benefit they will receive.

Now, go look at your own website or business idea. Ask yourself the questions:

  • “Who am I sharing my message to?” (Context)
  • “How can I connect with them in less than 3 seconds?” (Context)
  • “Why should they believe what I’m telling them?” (Credibility)
  • “What am I asking my audience to do?” (Call to Action)

Let me know what you think about what I’ve shared! Did it inspire you? Can you apply this to what you’re working on now? Write a comment and let me know what you’re doing with what you learned.

5 thoughts on “The 3 Cs of a Successful Website

  1. Anna

    Thank you for sharing yet another brilliant article.

    I don’t believe it could have come at a better time because a few days ago, I decided to refurbish my own website and last night I was starting to feel lost and frustrated in how to go about it.

    Your article is not only inspiring but gives confidence and hope that even today, when we are each faced with billions of competing websites, there is a structure that we can follow in order to build a successfull, attention-grabbing and reputable one of our own.

    I have a question that I’d appreciate your advice on; i.e. At one point you say “Avoid using stock photography”. What do you mean by this and why?

    All the best,


  2. Jonathan Wold

    Anna, thanks for stopping by!

    By avoiding the use of stock photography I’m referring to putting up images of people, buildings, etc., that have no direct connection to the message you’re wanting to convey on your website. They are there for the sake of being there.

    There are a lot of sites that you can visit that seem to use the same kinds of people, over and over again – the smiling customer service girl, the beautiful looking office building, the firm handshake between two well dressed business men. These can be well and good in the right setting, but in a lot of cases, when you’re working to build credibility, “stock photos”, photos that you and anyone else can easily download from stock photography websites, can hurt you.

    Does that help? Thanks for a great question!


  3. brad kalyan

    Hi Jonathon,

    After reading your blog I am interested to know your thoughts.
    I am a third year university student studying Finance with Entrepreneurship. My final project is concerned with investigating entrepreneurship in social media. I would love to know your thoughts on what similarities companies such as Yahoo, eBay and Facebook have experienced, through the behaviour of their creators, Yang, Omidyar and Zuckerberg. Your response is greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards

    Brad Kalyan


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