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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Your Website and What It Conveys

As artists, we tend to want to convey "art" on our websites. We want to add the extras that show the public what we love.

But have you ever thought about your website from the consumers' point of view?

Personally, I think a website needs to function really well. The buyer needs to be able to find what they are looking for - both easily and quickly. The longer they have to hunt and get frustrated, the less likely they are to buy.

And if you are selling online, that must be one of your major goals.

I subscribe to some of the online marketing emails and enjoy reading their commentaries and picking up hints. Here are a few recent comments that I wanted to pass on to you. Some of them are direct quotes and others paraphrased from what I have recently read. They are very worthy of considering.

You have one chance to make an impression. Your first screen is going to tell the customer who you are. So it's important that you do it right. Fill their needs and desires. Watch that your ego doesn't supersede what information is needed on your website.

"Is your website a library or a bookstore?" Is the viewer supposed to buy or are they supposed to browse?

In your upper right-hand corner, do you have a place for leads or a cart? One tells you to buy and the other tells you to browse.

Do you have an action bar/directive (which tells the customer what to do- like order a free catalog, or sign up for a newsletter) or a navigation bar? Experts say a combination bar is best.
These action directives should be in every view that a consumer has of your site.

Do you have "click here now" buttons or do you just hope that the customer will know what to do? My understanding is that they need the extra direction.

Do you have an email sign up in the top left-hand column?

Make sure your load time of your website is fast. In fact, it is one of the top 3 reasons why someone stays on your site.

I'd like to thank Amy's Qlog, which gave me this info to contemplate and that I'm now passing on to you. Hopefuly it gives you something to think about as you're updating your website or contemplating the design of a new one.

2010 is not a year to be passive. With the downturned economy, you need to show the best you can. I think a website is the ultimate in representing who you are. I'm wishing for you the very best.

See you tomorrow- Marcy