What is the purpose of your website? This is a multiple choice question:
(A) Our website is for current customers and prospects who have previously heard of our business and want to learn more.
(B) Our web site should help us reach new customers – ones who have never heard of us but are looking for the product or service we offer.
(C) All of the above.
(D) None of the above. I just need to be able to say I have website.
For most websites I find, the site does only (A), even though most businesses would likely say they want both, (C). A very small percentage may select (D).However, (B) should be your priority in your website design, because people who already have heard of you and your product will come to your site and seek out information. However, if your site is poorly designed for attracting new customers, the people who stumble upon you will be gone before they can click, which can be faster than flash, if you follow my drift.
How to NOT get new customer to your website:
- Have a designer in charge of producing your new site.Designers may make a gorgeous site, however, most don’t know the first thing about SEO, converting visitors and basic user interaction data with websites.
- Make sure they only care about how well the site will look., i.e. their design, Don’t worry, most good designers will care their design and not much else.
- After the site is designed, coded and live, make sure there is no process for studying objective performance on your goals (A and B above). Again, no worries, since most designers do not study behavioral data (it doesn’t make anything look better).
If you want a website that actually works to help get you new, prospective customers, you might want to have a different approach:
- Balance design with your other goals. The website should be easy to read, high contrast, and have a strong call to action. You must be clear on what you want your visitor to do. Register their email address so you can send them discounts, for example.
- Set up Google Analytics (it’s free), and learn from it what people are doing and not doing on your site. Make adjustments and see what works and what doesn’t.
- Got a search box on your site? If not, add one. If you have one, save the searches and see what people are trying to find, and if they are able to locate what they are searching for.
- Don’t make your site using Flash. The #1 tablet doesn’t interpret Flash sites.
- Add enough basic search engine recognizable links to be relevant, and increase your chances of people finding you.