Friday, February 22, 2008

Improving your Website

Inc. Magazine's website published a little slide show with 11 ways to improve a corporate website. Most of them are really platitudes, like making sure it's a high corporate priority, keeping it simple and that ensuring that the site ranks high on search engines. Gee. Thanks.

But two of them were good. Really good, actually.
The first - make small, frequent adjustments and measure the impact. For whatever reason, this one seems to be lost on a big chunk of companies. A good design is modular, and therefore changes can be isolated to specific areas.
The second - build and distribute a widget. While these can be a bit irksome to receive in a corporate email inbox, they can give a consumer-based site a real boost. They engage the user and often attract traffic immediately, even if only for a short time. It's a nice way to get people to come back to your site.

The big one that is missing is so often missed by technology-oriented website recommendations that it frustrates me to no end. And that is to know your objective. Now that might sound every bit as trite as "keep it simple." But if it was so well-known, how come it's so commonly overlooked?

The way that I frame it for clients is this: What do you want someone to do when they come to your site? Make a purchase? Make a phone call? Leave a comment? Once you decide that, then you can actually measure the effectiveness of your site. And you can see what those small adjustments are doing for you.

And you might actually increase revenue.

Credit where credit is due: Inc. Web Site Slide Show

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