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.
Imagine the exceptional party host, one that learns of attendees’ favorite foods, drinks, and forms of entertainment. That’s a classy host, one who was likely raised by good hosts or observed the accommodating ways of others. A superior web hosting service is like a mom or dad ‘raising’ their child the right way, to respect others especially when hosting in one’s own ‘house.’ Your site makes scores of obvious and subtle impressions, ultimately affecting the ambiance and subsequent actions of visitors. Consider the following site-related pleasantries that augment the ambiance of your site and improve experience for visitors.
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.
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.
If only Ferris knew what was ahead. That quote comes from much simpler, and slower times. With the web and all it’s related technologies, we have seen life change faster than ever. If life was fast during Ferris’ day, it’s at lightning speed now!
But the faster life gets, the more we have to slow down to take stock of things. This is no less true in the ever-changing web. But let’s start at the beginning: web development. This is usually the starting point of a business’ web presence outside of social media. Sometimes, in haste to “get going” business owners look for web developers to build their website quickly, cheaply and… wrongly.
I think it’s time to slow web development down.To not look at how quickly it can be done, but at the process in which it is done. Hop on over to Search Engine Journal to see the full post.
When it comes to websites, there’s a history of disconnect between SEOs and web developers. An SEO is concerned with optimizing usability and site structure. A web developer is concerned with function of code and site design. In order for a website to perform at its greatest potential, the two disciplines must make nice and work together. If the two can work in tandem from conception through the launch of a site, a lot of time and energy can be spared from reworking what has already been done.
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.
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.
Imagine with me for a moment that an individual decides to create a blog on the topic of becoming a complete and utter failure at whatever you attempt in life. After a few months, or perhaps a year, this blog becomes wildly popular. This failure blog has tens of thousands of readers, hundreds of thousands in revenue, and more social media fans and followers than can be counted. Was this blog a raging success or a monumental failure for not accomplishing the very thing it set out to teach?
Although some in the world of art can get away with flinging paint at their canvas in random splotches, working toward success in the world of online business requires a bit more planning and work. Enter the three pillars, or the ABC’s, of online business: amazing content, brilliant design, and commanding influence. These principles provide a sweeping framework that will guide you as you plan and execute your online activities. … Continue Reading
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?!?
I love a good story – almost as much as our staff word nerd does. And even though I’m not a particularly sentimental guy, I also love a happy ending, especially when it comes to my clients and their websites.
Every time people visit your site, a new story begins. Hopefully, all will be bliss and harmony as they follow the conversion path you’ve carefully laid out, which could be anything from a newsletter sign-up to a purchase worth thousands. However, if a visitor experiences a lots of conflict on your site, he or she may not even turn the first page. Fast forward to a bad ending: site abandonment.
But there is hope. I encourage you to read my latest column on Search Engine Land: 12 Navigation Ideas To Give Your Website ‘Story’ A Happy Ending. In it, you’ll find (a shocker!) 12 helpful ideas for reducing navigational conflict on your site. After you read it, implement the ideas. Then, you and your visitors can live happily ever after. THE END!