All I Needed To Know About Web Design I Learned From Geocaching

By Scott Lindsay

Geocaching is a great sport. You take a GPS device; punch in positioning coordinates and travel to a previously unknown location in search of treasure. Sometimes you find items that make all the effort absolutely worthwhile. Sometimes you are disappointed in what you find. You might even discover an occasion in which the cache has been stolen and there is nothing to see.

Some of the more interesting caches I’ve stumbled across include a trash can hidden inside the shell of an old commercial grade air conditioner, a precipitation station that actually housed a cache and a rotten stump of a tree with a dry cow pie covering the top of the treasure chest (plastic tub). All memorable caches, but not always for the best of reasons.

This is the same with your online business. Potential customers log onto their favorite search engine and learn the ‘coordinates’ to your cyber cache (business). They determine that your cache looks the most promising and they follow the coordinates to what they believe to be a treasure. Will they find something worthwhile or a cow pie encrusted stump?

If you are going to encourage individuals to drop by your online business you will need to be very intentional about making the visit worthwhile. They can go treasure hunting anywhere, but they chose your site. What is it about what you offer that will allow them to determine the visit was worth the effort?


I can promise you they won’t base their opinion on a fancy logo, catchy slogan or even lots of color. Their choices will depend on substance. The visitor will gain an impression based on the first few seconds on your site.

Don’t tease them about what you do and what you offer. Be straightforward and you might even provide a subtle call to action in the first paragraph. Notice I used the word subtle. I did not suggest you hard sell anything. This is an important concept to remember in online marketing.

We’ve all stumbled across old sites developed with obsolete technology. This can be a sizeable detractor when it comes to a good first impression. Some online businesses resist changing their website because they simply don’t understand the technology needed to improve it and don’t have the money to pay for someone else to make a new site for them.

A new website can be developed with very little expense using web builder technology. It includes customizable templates that can help you embrace a new website design on your own with very little web building knowledge required and no coding experience needed at all.

If you’re in business it is because you believe your idea or product is a treasure. You should work to translate that sense of awe to your customers. If they can catch the vision for what you do they will bookmark your site as a treasure worth revisiting and will likely push others in the same direction. The end result is personally satisfying for the treasure seeker as well as the treasure provider.

Oh yeah, and in a geocache the treasure hunter generally takes a treasured item and leaves something behind. In the case of business that trade means cash.

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