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5 Tips to Make Your Site a Better Web Experience

Web Site Tips You walk into a shoe store to buy a pair of shoes. The salesperson greets you, reads you the store’s mission statement, and out its logo. Then you’re abandoned in a room with thousands of shoes, instructed to locate the style and size you want, and find your own way through checkout. Sounds like a nightmare, right? Learn how to avoid this scenario on your web site.

 

Tip 1: Connection

Connect your site to the needs and desires of your target audience. Research who is coming to your site. Beyond basic demographics, find out what makes them tick. How—and why—do they use the Web? What are their favorite sites? Also, use text and graphics that make it easy for visitors to see that your site can give them what they want. 

Tip 2: Clarity

Once a visitor connects, you have less than 30 seconds to create clarity about what is available and how to find it. Remember the last time you went to a new grocery store? When you walked in the door, you probably did a mental scan of produce, dairy, frozen foods, and deli. That initial assessment— before your interaction even began—clarified what you could get and where. In grocery stores, clarity is achieved through time-tested principles of store architecture, layout, and visible product placement. The same principles apply to the Web experience—but they’re called information architecture, navigation design, and usability. Look at your home page and ask: Can a new visitor achieve clarity without clicking to another page? Can the visitor discern what is available as well as how and where to find it? Is your site intuitive to use? Watch a group of sample users navigate your site. Give them tasks, and see how easily they execute them.

Tip 3: Content

Too many websites take a “one size fits all” approach to content. Developing great content is not as easy as simply re-channeling your corporate brochure. Think of your company’s telephone system: would your customers keep calling if they were connected to the same, recorded message day after day? Why should your website be any different? Great Web content is both dynamic and distinctly customized. Dedicate part of your site to an online newsletter with changing stories about your business and industry. Create secure areas where your customers can access the information that’s relevant to them. Integrate Web content with business operations such as project management, sales, marketing, distribution, accounting, and customer service. Define content in terms of the interactions and information your customers and employees need to share online. If your website starts looking like your annual report or your marketing brochure, you’ve missed the point.

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Studies have shown that if you can address customer questions or concerns at the point of initial contact or at a buying decision point on a site, conversion to buyer is greatly increased.

–Karen Fegarty, “Interactivity Is the Key,” MailWorkZ

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Tip 4: Confidence

Web visitors have become understandably cautious. Be sensitive to their concerns. Post a privacy policy, and explain how you will use visitors’ information. Don’t force users to accept e-mails from your company, and send e-mails only if users explicitly agree. And make it easy for users to update their personal information or remove their names from your database.  

 

Tip 5: Continuous Improvement

Don’t just track your Web server statistics. Instead, obtain qualitative feedback (truly “rich” data) by providing easy communications channels on your site, such as threaded bulletin boards, e-mail links, polls, and surveys. Don’t just track hits—track people. Understand who they are, how and why they respond to your call-to-action, and use that valuable information to evolve your site—and your business. Unlike a printed corporate brochure, a website is never finished. When you make mistakes— and you will—you don’t have to send it back to the printer. The day you launch your site is the first day to begin improving it.  Ask your visitors for feedback, then listen and respond. You’ll have a great site—and they’ll have a great experience.

 

These actions take effort and commitment, but the rewards are higher return traffic, improved sales and better customer retention. Creative Partners Group can help you define and execute these performance enhancements to your web site.

Source for these tips is an article by Dax Callner and Pat McClellan at sammag.com

 

 

Newsflash

Your customers will be buying a lot more than merely your product or service. They are buying your personality, your reputation, your service, and your status in the community.