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Planning a New Website? Don’t Launch It Until You Do This

Planning a New Website? Don’t Launch It Until You Do This

Planning a Website?

Can you imagine how happy your website users would be if they were always able to complete the tasks they came for easily and efficiently? Can you imagine how your bottom line would be affected?

A major problem with the way a website is planned and built is that it typically starts with decision makers and web developers/designers looking around at industry & competitor’s websites – reacting favorably or unfavorably, creating their own version, suggesting changes and repeating until all decision makers are happy. Then comes site launch. This seems reasonable and normal.

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5 Website User Experience Mistakes That Hurt Your Bank Account

Most business owners and executives want their businesses to grow. In order to do that, (let’s talk basic accounting) the total amount of deposits has to consistently exceed the total amount of withdrawals, or else the business is just treading water; or maybe even drowning. In this day and age, websites are one of the tools that can ultimately determine which direction your business goes. While it may not make or break all businesses at this point in time, it’s certainly critical for most.

Profit Loss Sheet

What I’d like you to do for the next few minutes is to think about your website like you do your balance sheet. But, don’t just think about the numbers or how much the website costs to maintain versus how much revenue you can directly tie to it. Take it back a step. Take it all the way back to the user experience, because this is where it starts. Think about how a user’s experience with your website affects their relationship with your brand. Because when it comes to the numbers, the user experience is the cause. The numbers are just the effect.

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Your Website Sucks and SEO Isn’t Gonna Help You!

increased sales are more important than rankingsHot tip: SEO isn’t just SEO anymore. You know what I mean?

Every day we get new prospects asking us to help them grow their business. Usually they are thinking about how we can help them improve their rankings and maybe assist with social media, since that’s hot right now. What they often completely miss is the big elephant in the room: A website that couldn’t sell ice water in the Sahara desert!

Well, guess what? Search engines want to rank sites that people find valuable. If your site isn’t doing a good job of selling the visitors you do get, getting more traffic is pointless. (And getting top rankings will be much more difficult!) But even if you could get the top rankings you want, what’s the point? A few more sales trickling in? How about turning on the fire hose instead?Continue Reading


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Avoiding Website Navigation That Makes Users Never Want to Come Back

In my experience, grocery stores are one of the most frustrating places I go. I really try to avoid going at all costs. Why?  Because when I go, I’m usually looking for unusual ingredients for something special my wife is planning to make. She sends me there for things like ground red pepper, evaporated chicken broth, rare beans or chopped green chiles.

If I were going there for some milk, then no problem, because I know they always put the milk in the back corner of the store. But when I (the non-frequent grocery store user) go for unusual items, I have no idea where these random things are located (the frequent shopper who’s been up and down the aisles hundreds of times might). Anybody with me?! Can I get an amen?!

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Improve Your Website By Getting Beyond Who’s Right and Wrong

In my efforts to help businesses improve the conversion rates on their websites, I hear objections ALL the time. Behind the objections, I have observed fear (about how the changes will perform), offense (because they think I’m implying their work isn’t up to snuff) and procrastination (because they want to avoid the scary world of testing).

A few factors that I’ve seen contribute to this include:

  • Stakeholder’s opinions about what will work best for a particular site or page within a site are usually strongly held, whether it’s because it’s what they like themselves or what they believe as a professional.
  • Stakeholders are emotionally attached to their work.
  • There’s a lot at stake for everyone when it comes to the performance of the website.

The resulting situation can get messy. It typically involves arguments over opinions about what to do with the site in an attempt at improvement. But this kind of activity can be damaging to your team’s relationships.

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Less Is More When Writing for Landing Pages

Yes, I know why you include so many words on your marketing landing pages. It’s because you really, really, REALLY want your visitors to get it. You want them to understand all that it is you have to offer them and how choosing to do business with you is really going to change their lives. You want to use all of the information you can to persuade them to stick with you, to continue on the journey to being your customer. Problem is—they don’t read them. I know you worked hard on it, and I’m sorry.

So, what do you do now? Throw it all away? Doesn’t there need to be some explanation about the page and how the user will benefit from continuing on? Why, certainly yes. Your pages must still persuade users to work through the conversion process. But, they must do so in ways that fit with how people use the web. It’s time to get out that “red pen” and make a couple of changes; namely employing a less-is-more approach.

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Website Usability Tips for How People Use the Web

Last time I shared here, I established that a major problem affecting your site performance is that (because you designed or contributed to or commissioned and approved the site) YOU don’t have to think when YOU use the site because YOU know what everything means, how everything is supposed to work, where everything is located and where every click is supposed to go. Your visitors are left to interpret things that you already know the interpretation for.

A second major problem affecting your site performance is that you designed it for people who use the web in a similar fashion to how a straight-A student would study for a final exam; mulling over every last detail of information presented for fear that a question will be on the test regarding information skipped over. I don’t have exact numbers, but the amount of people that use the web in this way is—close to none.

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How to Make Your Website Easier to Use (and Improve Conversion Rates)

Web usability expert Steve Krug starts off his popular book on the topic with these words:

People often ask me: “What’s the most important thing I should do if I want to make sure my Web site is easy to use?” The answer is simple. It’s not “Nothing important should ever be more than two clicks away,” or “Speak the user’s language,” or even “Be consistent.” It’s “Don’t make me think!”

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The First Step to Better Homepage Design

your homepage is like beachfront real estate
Your homepage is like beachfront real estate. Everyone wants a piece of it! [tweet]
It’s common knowledge that in general the homepage of any site is the most important page. Usability professionals have called it the “beachfront real estate” of any website. The big obstacle we run into with this though is that, of course, everyone wants a piece of it! Because this is the case, your homepage design just might be overrun with content competing for user’s attention. If you can find it in yourself to admit it, this is probably limiting its ability to allow your customers to service themselves with it—which is costing you money. After all, the homepage is many times a customer’s first impression of your site and the company behind your site.

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Why An Authoritative Website is So Important to Your Business

In the offline world, you wouldn’t invest tons of money in a sloppy-looking, incorrect-grammar-ing, confusing, and unknowledgeable salesman that wasn’t able to serve your customers needs in the ways they wanted to be served, would you?  So, why would you do it online?  Would you like to buy something from this guy?

The truth is, your website is your digital sales rep.  It’s the go-to “person” in the online world for customers looking for your solutions.  In light of all the activities you may do online, this is your digital home.  It is THE preeminent piece of your digital existence.  Kinda makes you think a little more about what you do with it, right?!?

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Buy The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period! and download the cheat sheet.