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Top Three Website Misperceptions
Companies mistakenly think that if they launch a web site that it will automatically receive tons of traffic and—for businesses offering a product or service for purchase—a ton of sales. I’ll give them an “A” for optimistic thinking. But, it’s simply not reality. With millions of web sites on the Internet and more pages being created and uploaded daily, the chances of your site being located are slimming with each sunset. Rest assured, your competition is more than likely already working to build a strong online presence and connection with visitors, placing you at a further disadvantage if you are not doing the same. If you aren’t generating traffic coming to your site and then providing content and messaging that resonates with visitors once they get there, it’s as if your site is invisible. No traffic and visitors mean no sales. A lot of companies just dive in and begin building their web sites. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. You can’t simply begin by building pieces of the site, then force fitting them together. The design, features, functions and content must work together as a whole to attract and engage visitors. It could be deadlines, budgets or some other force of nature that spurs companies to launch web sites with little to no thought for the “big picture.” Whatever it is, check out this list of three common misperceptions about web sites and learn from others’ mistakes.
1. Visitors are just like you.
Even armed with demographic information and first-hand knowledge from your target audience, it is incredibly challenging to identify everyone coming to your web site. One thing’s for certain, most everyone is not like you. Decisions about design and functionality as well as the creation and delivery of content should not be made based on the tastes of individuals within an organization, but instead should be objectively considered for the primary audience visiting your web site. Once you’ve come to understand the make-up and behavior of your audience, you can determine which segments are useful, viable and profitable from an online perspective. Segmenting an audience into smaller groups ensures that each group receives the most relevant, personalized experience, information and offers.
2. The best web sites have all the bells and whistles.
The more complex a web site is, the more resources you’ll need to invest in the development and deployment of the site. Before you bust the budget on elements that your audience may or may not even use, ask yourself how it really helps improve the online experience. Is the content actually useful and relevant for people and delivered when, where and how they want it? Does the added complexity actually enhance shopping or information gathering? Technology needs to support corporate goals, not vice versa. If you can’t answer “yes” to some of these questions, all the latest web “enhancements” are nothing more than expensive gimmicks.
3. Web site technology costs a lot of money.
Make no mistake, there’s some expensive online technology out there. But high cost doesn’t always equate to a high ROI for your needs. Unfortunately, companies can quickly find themselves managing an online environment that’s grown quite complex from multiple technologies that work in silos, instead of in tandem. Look for more cross-functional technologies to make it easier and more cost-effective to attract and engage online audiences. Whether the goal is to create an instant connection with a first-time site visitor; to drive revenue for online marketing campaigns; or to ensure content is in the right hands, today’s IP location technology, as an example, provides the type of all-in-one tool to take online interactions in the right direction—toward a closer relationship with your online audience. Building and then marketing your web site takes dedication, knowledge and commitment—and good technology will make your life easier. Educate yourself, put in the work and learn from others’ mistakes.
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