Why This Website Wows, and 5 Tips to Make Yours Wow, Too

Five years ago, I tried to make jam for the first time. I’d received a bag full of persimmons from a neighbor and had no idea what to do with the fruit. So I opened my cookbook up and followed the recipe to make jam. Unfortunately, if you know persimmons, you know that one under ripe persimmon can spoil the entire batch of jam.  I must have had several unripe persimmons, because the jam not only curdled, it tasted like fiery gasoline mixed with lemon juice. Yum, yum. I threw out the entire batch, jars and all, and swore I’d never make jam again.

Until July 4th, that is, when the wild blackberry bushes flanking my driveway yielded not one, but two quarts of luscious blackberries. I felt brave. But my cookbook didn’t have a good recipe for blackberry jam! What to do? Search online for one, of course.

And what website did I stumble upon? The Ball Canning and Recipe website.

And this, my friends, is a website that WOWS – and I’ll tell you exactly why, and not just because I made an awesome batch of tasty jam.
Blackberry Jam

Why the Ball Canning Website Work

Here’s the website: Ball Canning.

These are my top 5 reasons why this website works to acquire, retain and create loyal customers for the Ball Canning Company.

  1. It’s super EASY to navigate. Many times I enter a website and find myself poking around odd corners of the site looking for what I need. I end up on virtual dead ends and digital alleys. With this site, everything I needed as a home cook was just one or two clicks away….easy!
  2. It made canning SIMPLE.  I’m new at canning. This was the first time I’ve ever tried to make jam with blackberries. Pectin? What the heck is pectin and why do I need it? Why are there several kinds on the shelf at the grocery store and which one do I need? The Ball website seemed to anticipate my neophyte questions and answer them easily and quickly.
  3. The tone in the text was just right…neither too advanced to confuse me nor so simple that I felt talked down to. Instead, the copywriter made me feel like he or she was taking me under the wing and guiding me through the steps of the recipe…like I had a trusted friend in the kitchen!
  4. The site had handy calculators that meant I didn’t have to think – the site did all the thinking for me. Plus it was fun to play around with the buttons and dream about making strawberry jam next.
  5. Speaking of fun, Ball makes canning your own food seem like a blast. The pictures on the website made me want to run out and buy new Ball jars – colorful ones. The entire site encouraged me to try new things and delight in my thrifty, creative canning projects.

What is the secret that makes this entire website work so well? The Ball corporation knows and understands its target audience – people like me who are new to canning. 

My neighbors are country women; they grew up learning how to can food. They know intuitively how to make all sorts of tasty, delightful things. They don’t need this website. They like the recipes, but the pectin converter? The explanations? That’s for the likes of me, a former Manhattan executive who never learned to cook who now loves to explore home cooking and crafts.

The secret to a great website is to always keep the end user in mind. The target customer, your marketing manager might say.  The entire website, from start to finish, should be about the visitor – not about you, not about your products.

Ball’s site could focus on its nifty caning jars, it’s useful jar lifters, or its canning products. All well and good. But that gets boring, fast.

Instead, they focus on ME and my PROBLEMS – my problems were:

  1. I’m new to canning and making jam.
  2. I’m confused about this thing called pectin.
  3. I only have 2 quarts of berries and the typical recipe calls for more; how do I adapt it?
  4. How do I convert the amounts to my smaller quantity?
  5. I need an easy recipe to feel successful!


As a business owner, you may be doing a lot of your own website work or blogging yourself. To make your website work FOR you, not against you, use these tips and tricks:

  • Write up a simple visitor profile to help you imagine your typical customers. WHY does he or she come to your website?
  • Now, what content can you add to HELP him or her SOLVE PROBLEMS?
  • What benefits do your services offer?
  • Can you provide examples, such as testimonials, of helping people who have had similar problems?
  • How can you convey this through pictures (images) as well as through text?

Ball Canning does it right. Their website was a pleasure to use. I hope yours is, too.

Oh, and the jam? Delicious. Simply delicious. (Recipe is on my blog, here – Wild Blackberry Jam)
Cornbread Blackberry Jam