When designing a website some companies will look to the CEO and say: what do you want. Others will gather department heads to hash out the hows and whys of a marketing campaign, making sure to promote the company merchandise. A few may brainstorm ideas in a company wide meeting. What I want to know is how many businesses look at it from a consumer’s point of view?
Now that summer is here and the weather is nice, we get the opportunity to talk to our neighbors more. Chit chat over the fence or stopping to say hello while taking an evening walk is common. Conversations are prevalent with talk about anything and everything. This past weekend was a case in point.
Mr. Cummings, our neighborhood remodeling guru, was a bit frustrated. He vented those frustrations during a community garage sale. It seems that Mr. Cummings was looking to find a certain article he needed for a bathroom makeover. The local hardware store didn’t carry the selection he wanted so he ended up browsing the internet. During his searching he found a lot of places to look. The problems began when each site had a different way of uncovering what he was hoping to find. Not being marketing savvy, he didn’t understand why all websites are not the same. The frustration he experienced had our garrulous Mr. Cummings asking all and sundry the same question: what do YOU like in a website?
Not surprisingly the number one response was keeping it simple in finding what is being looked for. Direct link landing pages or an easy to find search button racked up the highest request. Ease of navigation will determine if the person decides to stay on the site and look around or leave for greener pastures. A well designed banner and logo with ease of search is the most attractive website to encounter.
The second most common response was selection. People want a variety of items to choose from. If they are going to make a purchase they want to know they have options.
Thirdly, consumers are looking for quality at a fair price. Products or services we consider “disposable” or will be used on a frequent basis, should be economical. A prospective client in these cases does not care if you have the best gizmo in the world when he can find the exact same thing somewhere else for half the price. However, they will pay more that item when it is backed up by some type of guarantee and great customer service.
As Mr. Cummings continued to harangue the unsuspecting public, a pattern emerged. People wanted to talk more about what they do not want on a website.
It seems that those prolific AdSense ads so many businesses prefer to use are strongly disliked. Instead of drawing clients in, they cheapen the sites that post them. Ads may help with link building, but consumers are put off by them. If a site is going to have ads, then make the ads smaller than the information on the site. They compete with what is being offered.
If a site has a pop-up, Jane Q Public will leave in a heartbeat. Too many viruses can be found attached to a pop-up and no one wants to take a chance. A click-to-chat or click-to-call icon is more desirable than one popping up while the browser is attempting to read what is on the website.
Garish colors are despised. A majority of those polled prefer colors that are easy on the eyes. They also prefer the ability to see graphics, but keep them to a minimum. If you are writing an article, attach a graphic that coincides with what is being written. Jane Q will be more apt to read the article with a good title and an interesting graphic. Supposing that ABC Company sells a widget, the company should offer different photographic views of the widget through small icons. Graphics also need to be of high quality.
No flash! Blinking lights, rotating banners and automatic voice “sells” are both annoying and distracting. Imbed a video that must be manually started instead. Speaking of video, consumers are fascinated with watching them. People will stay longer and search more when video marketing is available.
Lastly, clients want connection. Keep the lines of communication open. Ask for opinions and ideas. Don’t assume because you like something everyone else will. Offer a FAQ page, about us section and a contact us page. The easier it is to communicate with you the better chances are that you are a company that can be seen as trustworthy.
Mr. Cummings did not go home that afternoon any less frustrated than when he started. Along with a new ratchet set, he did go home though wiser about what consumers want in a website. Analytics, link building, SEO and the like are fine. Just remember what his survey exposed. Mr. Cummings will. He plans on using that information when he designs his own website. As the old adage says give the people what they want and they will come.
Grace O’Malley is the voice of Precision Analytics Group with 20+ years of helping companies market their visions. See how she and the rest of the team can help you and your company. Visit us at www.PrecisionAnalyticsGroup.com or follow our blog at http://www.PrecisionAnalyticsGroup.com/wordpress.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com