Does This Website Make Me Look Fat?


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First impressions on the Internet are not just important they are crucial to a company’s very existence. Visitors arriving at an outdated, professionally-challenged website will hit the Back button on their browser faster than one can say, “Welcome.”

Other than the multiple ways businesses now have of reaching out to or connecting with prospects and customers, the Internet has created at least one unintended consequence—people’s lack of tolerance when businesses waste their time. Website visitors demand companies quickly get to the point. Are you the company that can solve my problem, tell me about the solution and list the benefits? Companies that drawl on about the fact that, “We’ve been in business longer than dirt,” We’ve got the best team in town,” “You can count on us!” fail.

Studies show companies have eight seconds to grab a website visitor’s attention before they begin to consider leaving the site for another solution provider.

There need to be website goals. Does the company website serve as an information source or is the company trolling for new prospects? Each strategy takes on a very different focus. Websites that serve as an information source list every product, feature, tip or trick along with answers to every possible question the customer might ask. Websites that serve the purpose of attracting potential customers looks quiet different. It lists problems, solutions and benefits. It’s visitor focused. Its intention is to get the visitor to the website to take some action—download something, subscribe, fill out the contact page, call the toll-free phone number.

Websites have to have a professional look and feel. If you are unaware of how to size up the company’s website, look at the competition. Are they doing a better job? It maybe time to put the well-intentioned brother-in-law out to pasture and hire a website design firm that knows their way around CSS3, HTML5, mobile and responsiveness.

The website needs to be easy to navigate, intuitive. Lay out the menu selections as if you are the potential customer looking for the right solution. If the company is a small to medium size business don’t have more pages on the website than General Motors. Less is more.

Right-sizing images and graphs lead to less confusion. Don’t display images that cannot be read. Website visitors blow right past this information.

Now let’s focus on what matters most—the content.

The content, or text on the webpages, is still king. The content needs to be compelling, interesting, useful and timely. The website visitor has to be pulled into the company’s story much the same way Steven King lassos he’s readers in the opening sentences. The company needs to stay visitor-focused. Use less “we”, “us” and “ours” in the content pages and mix in more “you” and “yours.” People want to know you understand their problem, have the perfect solution and can enumerate the benefits of doing business with the firm. If the company does not have a good wordsmith on staff hire a copywriter. They’re worth their weight in gold.

Two last topics before we close: analytics and KPIs.

Companies that do not employ analytics to tell how many people visit the website, how long they stay, what pages they visit, what page they leave from and where they came from to begin with is flying blind. How does a company know its Services page is working or failing if they do not know how many people visit the page each month? How does a company know if their Contact Us page is asking too many questions if they do not know how many people leave the page before answering all the questions (it’s called bailing) on the input form? Google offers free analytics for any website. They’re easy to set up and navigate.

Companies have developed KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the shop floor.

The website is no different. Companies need to measure the site’s performance to ensure their investment is paying off.

Some KPIs may different from industry to industry, but there are similarities. Some of the best KPIs a company would kill for are: Conversion Rate: how many visitors are converted into customers or clients, Average Order Value: particulars about the sale, Days & Visits to Purchase: average time to sale, Visitor Loyalty: how often to people return, Task Completion Rate: was the customer able to complete the reason they arrived at the site for, and Share of Search: how well is your site doing against the completion?

Choose your KPIs wisely.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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