How to get bet­ter busi­ness re­sults from your web­site

GET THE CRIT­I­CAL FAC­TORS RIGHT FOR HIGHER SALES CON­VER­SION

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - GOOD BUSINESS - DAVID FRANK spe­cialises in com­mu­ni­ca­tions for engi­neer­ing and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies – in­clud­ing ex­ter­nal ( mar­ket­ing) and in­ter­nal ( tech­ni­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion). This in­cludes web­sites, newslet­ters, brochures, ads, so­cial me­dia, man­u­als, qual­ity pro­cesses, he

In my pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cle How to get your ‘mar­ket­ing ma­chine’ per­form­ing – pre­sent­ing your hid­den trea­sure through your

mar­ket­ing chan­nels, I showed how to make your mar­ket­ing ma­te­rial ef­fec­tive for your engi­neer­ing or tech­ni­cal busi­ness. Now here are some specifics for web­sites…

AT­TRACT­ING THE RIGHT AT­TEN­TION

Your web­site im­ages and de­sign usu­ally make the first im­pres­sion for vis­i­tors. It’s not so much about quan­tity as qual­ity of graph­ics. The colour scheme should sup­port your logo and brand­ing, with­out too many colours or com­plex­ity, with an over­all unity and in­te­gra­tion rather than frag­men­ta­tion.

Con­trast of light and dark or dif­fer­ent colours should be used to bring at­ten­tion to im­por­tant things, not dis­tract from your main mes­sage.

If it all looks pro­fes­sional, the text then takes over to hold at­ten­tion – and has the fi­nal say on your web­site’s ef­fec­tive­ness. The big fac­tors are your head­line, sub-head­ings, bul­lets, and ac­tion but­tons.

CRE­AT­ING A USERFRIENDLY EX­PE­RI­ENCE

Your web­site needs to have good ‘us­abil­ity’ to make it easy to nav­i­gate through, and prefer­ably en­joy­able to keep vis­i­tors com­ing back for more. Here are the crit­i­cal fac­tors:

EF­FEC­TIVELY OR­GAN­ISED – TO GET AROUND EAS­ILY

• Your menu should be sim­ple and mean­ing­ful to your tar­get au­di­ence – in their own lan­guage – and con­sis­tent through­out the web­site so view­ers don’t get lost or con­fused.

• The lay­out needs to be sim­ple with a uni­fied/ in­te­grated flow and not too frag­mented, with plenty of white ‘ breath­ing’ space to ease the eyes.

• In­for­ma­tion should be easy to find, but don’t dump too much on them at once. Tests have shown that peo­ple only com­plain about ‘in­for­ma­tion over­load’ when it’s poorly or­gan­ised.

CLEAR FO­CUS – TO STAY ON TRACK

• Each page needs to have a wellde­fined fo­cus (ex­cept your home page) with not too many side is­sues or clut­ter.

• Avoid un­nec­es­sary links and but­tons that dis­tract your visi­tor’s at­ten­tion.

TEXT AND IM­AGES WORK­ING HAND-INHAND TO CON­VEY YOUR MES­SAGE

• Im­por­tant mes­sages should be high­lighted by sub-head­ings or bold type to make them ‘scannable’, not buried in large blocks of text for vis­i­tors to wade through.

• Use bul­lets to make key points stand out vis­ually. Peo­ple tend to look most at the first two and last items, ac­cord­ing to re­search. If you have more than seven bul­let points, break them down into cat­e­gories like I have here to avoid the old ‘nee­dle in a haystack’ prob­lem.

• Use im­ages pur­pose­fully to con­vey emo­tion as well as tech­ni­cal mean­ing, to sup­port the text, not dis­tract from it.

MATCH YOUR VIS­I­TORS’ THINK­ING PROCESS – THE TRAIL TO FIND WHAT THEY’RE LOOK­ING FOR

• There should be a ‘trail’ for each type of visi­tor, fit­ting their thought se­quence to­wards their goal. Do a ‘user test’ for each visi­tor type – most ef­fec­tively done by some­one out­side your busi­ness.

• Have a ‘lead- on’ for each page to an­other page, if pos­si­ble, so your vis­i­tors don’t get stuck at a ‘ dead- end’.

• The sales con­ver­sion process usu­ally goes like… ac­knowl­edg­ing your vis­i­tors’ needs, an­swer­ing their ques­tions, and touch­ing their deeper mo­ti­va­tions to en­gage them; build­ing trust and cred­i­bil­ity while giv­ing use­ful in­for­ma­tion to hold their in­ter­est; pre­sent­ing your prod­uct or ser­vice to them as the an­swer; then fi­nally a call for ac­tion.

CLEAR AC­TION­ABLE RE­SPONSE – FOR THE OUT­COMES YOU’RE LOOK­ING FOR

• Show ob­vi­ous and clear ac­tions for your vis­i­tors to take – fill­ing-in a form, re­quest­ing more info, mak­ing an en­quiry, or pur­chas­ing a prod­uct.

• Don’t make your vis­i­tors think too much, e.g. don’t have too many op­tions to choose. Guide them sim­ply and eas­ily to their des­ti­na­tion.

• When sig­nif­i­cant risk is in­volved for them, ease their ‘anx­i­ety’ by giv­ing a guar­an­tee or tes­ti­mo­nial close to the ac­tion but­ton.

OP­TI­MISED FOR GOOGLE – TO DRAW THE RIGHT SEARCHERS

• Ba­sic search engine op­ti­mi­sa­tion hasn’t changed much over the years, though ad­vanced as­pects have. As long as you help Google to con­nect searchers with qual­ity con­tent, you’ll be re­warded. De­cep­tive tricks are pe­nalised th­ese days.

• Find the rel­e­vant search key­words that your tar­get au­di­ence uses (with the Google AdWords

key­word tool).

• Each page should fo­cus on 1-3 key­words.

• Em­bed key­words in the page ti­tle, head­lines, sub­head­ings, and body text, plus im­age <alt> tags, web page URL (ad­dress), and file names if pos­si­ble. But don’t over­sat­u­rate with key­words as it could work against you – so use a nat­u­ral va­ri­ety of syn­onyms (sim­i­lar words) as Google is get­ting more ‘hu­man’. The above points aren’t easy to im­ple­ment and can get a ‘bit tech­ni­cal’, but you can get a free web­site as­sess­ment at spec­tra-tech­ni­cal-me­dia.co.nz – 0800 385 1800 – david@spec­tra­me­dia.net.nz

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