The Top Twelve Things Your Website Needs To Do - Part One
It should be unnecessary to say it in this day and age but just for the record – Your website is the single most important weapon in your marketing arsenal. Don't believe it? When you're looking to make a major purchase where is the first place you turn to educate yourself before going to a store? You are not alone. A 2010 Cisco study showed that 74% of consumers conduct research on the Internet before making an in-store purchase.
Now that we got that out of the way, here are the first four of the top twelve things a brand website has to do in order to be effective:
1. Look good
People judge books by covers and brands by how they look. Do you think Apple’s success has more to do with the excellence and consistency of their ID, user interface and graphics, or the efficient use of system resources by their proprietary operating system? Yeah, must be the tech stuff. Beyond the look of the product itself, your brand is being judged by the looks of your packaging, printed materials, advertising and most of all by your website.
2. Be fresh
Web site home pages that rarely if ever change are boring and discourage return visits. If nothing changes on your home page you’re telling your customers that there is nothing going on with your brand, it’s dead. Good websites make it easy to change messages, images or banners on the home page. If it takes the intervention of a web developer to make your home page look new and fresh you have the wrong web developer.
If you can easily change your home page, make sure you’re doing so at least once a month. Got a new review? Post it on the home page. Got a new product? Give it star status. Running a promotion? Feature it on the web page. Do you support charities? Give them some love online.
3. Have quality authoritative content
Recent changes to Google’s search engine algorithms reward high quality, authoritative content more than anything else. The old “blackhat” SEO tricks of web spamming links and dummy sites will be punished with lower rank or banned outright. As we have been advising our clients all along, content that educates, informs and entertains will bring visitors coming back to your site. With Google’s new algorithms, quality content will improve your search engine rank and bring you new customers.
4. Be easy to navigate
Oh right....your site is easy to navigate! You know that it’s easy because you know where everything can be found. But the odds are good that first time visitors won’t be able to easily find what they’re looking for. How do we know this? Because we’ve looked at most of the CE sites out there and almost all of you are organizing your products by series. Sorry, real people don’t think that way. Think like the customer and organize by product category, or location of use or size or color, whatever makes sense to consumers in your market niche.
Mother-in-law research is a good way to test navigation schemes – use neighbors, relatives and office support staff to tell you how they would look for a product. Have your web developer make at least two dummy home pages and navigation schemes and test them with real people.
Given today's short attention spans and how busy we all are, we thought we should break this article into three parts. Gives you something to look forward to. Ready for Part Two? Click here.
About CE-Marketing Pros
We’re a full service marketing/advertising agency specializing in helping consumer electronics brands and retailers compete more effectively. Former marketing executives with two of the most successful CE brands, Al Ballard and Paul DiComo help brands STAND OUT in a crowded and confusing CE marketplace.
WE KNOW CE.