How Important is Your Website?

2nd March, 2009

I was doing a little online research for a client when I stumbled across a little snippet of information on the New Media Age website which was quoting some research by Rawnet.

It stated that 86% of consumers have researched a company online before deciding to use it and 78% have been put off from dealing with a company because of poor processes on its website. The study of more than 1,962 UK consumers found 74% would be more likely to deal with a company if it had all the relevant information on a single page.

It shouldn't come as any gteat surprise as all of us have experienced that disengaged feeling when the home page loads and it looks home-made or worse still; over-designed. There are 3 top tips to bear in mind when evaluating your own website:

1) Navigation

Clear navigation is vital if you want your visitors to stay on your site. Nothing is more frustrating than having to root around to find what you need. Try applying the old '3-click-rule' - can you find everything you need to in 3 clicks of the mouse?

2) Layout

You don't have to re-invent the wheel so make sure that content and buttons are where visitors will expect to find them. Keep your content in manageable chunks of 5 and 6 lines and then create a new paragraph. This may not be grammatically correct but it is far easier on the eye.

3) Reason to return

Add a reason for your visitors to come back again like a news section, FAQ (frequently asked questions) or blog. Having fresh content on a regular basis is far more engaging but more than that it makes your site more attraction to the search engine spiders and so helps to improve your rankings.

If your website design is up to scratch then you give yourself a pat on the back but if your site hasn't been updated for a while then its likely that you are putting off 78% of your potential customers - straight into the welcoming arms of your competitors.

Jason Edge

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