What makes for a great website experience, whether you are on your smartphone, desktop computer, television or tablet?
What does the experience look like?
I am really struggling with this question because if you ask five people, you will receive five different answers. The answer to this question is critical now more than ever. I feel a sense of urgency to get our company website up to speed. This means, I really need to make it an experience that users can get on and connect find the answers to their questions in an easy manner. In the past, the feeling was if we put quality content on our site, people will find it and believe we are knowledgeable experts in the field. This method worked well in the early days of Google, but with the advent of mobile search, the new variables that were introduced were “time” and readability. Just because your site, is mobile friendly doesn’t equate to a great experience. Many marketers are experiencing this pain right now.
Should this topic concern you?
Amazon is getting into the professional services market. Do you want to give a company like Amazon your user experience to help them find you. Many companies may say yes to this. To me, I look at Amazon as a huge online competitor. Can I give this type of experience to my clients with even more value? This is where my focus is. I am not willing to concede everything over to Amazon to help draw clients to my site.
Social media sites – More and more people are getting information on social media sites like Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook. How can I draw these people to my company site and keep them on the site to help them find the answers to their questions.
How can we compete for our client’s time. Do we want that content we create to reside on a social media site or do we want them to check out our company site. Many companies have given into the pressure and are relying more and more on social media platforms. Again, I am not ready to concede this battle.
Some areas I am looking at improving:
Menus – I really need to simplify menus. Our current site has way too many options. I need to create fewer options that are easy to find and easier to access. (Goal: fewer clicks)
Content – I’ve worked on this in the past. I really need a section just for old resource information for people to access. In addition, I need to bring out the pages that are more frequently updated like the home page and blog pages.
Storefront– Need to work toward a model where people can find what they need in the areas of products and services and give people a way to easily purchase these items. Current storefront software works well for products, but not necessarily for services and it is limited with respect to functionality. (Longer-term project)
Contact Us Page – Need a way for people to easily ask questions, get contact information and connect with appropriate people. I work at this process every month and I am learning what works and what does not work.
Media – How can I incorporate more media on the site that compliments the experience and does not take away from it. Is extra media needed? How much is too much?
Starting Point page, Guide Page, Decision Page – This is the area I am trying to wrap my head around. How can I create a better experience for users. I am in the designing phase of trying to give people a place to start and guide them along a path to help them find the right information. This is the area I am looking for input from others.
Clients can find your site in many different ways: social media links, search links, email, referral, etc. The trick here is to effectively help guide them in a way that helps them get the information they are seeking in a quick, clean manner without distracting them along the way. This is the hard part.