How To Avoid Common Website Mistakes

March 24, 2008 at 8:11 am Leave a comment

Companies have been building websites to support marketing, sales and customer service since 1994. Along the way, they have made a lot of mistakes that you can avoid… or repair.

Focusing on products not customers.
In the design stage, ask how text and images help customers get what they want. When the site is launched, ask customers to sit down in front of a computer and look over their shoulders as they try to solve a problem (e.g., find a product that meets their needs; place or track an order; get answers about terms, price and availability, returns, installation, support).

“Bleeding edge” technology.
It is possible to include streaming video, elaborate animation, slide shows, audio soundtracks, and a host of other “multimedia” effects in a website. Unfortunately, some of your customers have ancient computers, low-resolution monitors, slow Internet connections, older Web browsers, and insufficient RAM. Make the fancy stuff optional, not a requirement for using your site.

Leaving out the important stuff.
On the Web, customers decide what’s important. If price and availability are important, they won’t be happy unless you provide up-to-date information. Make sure your site invites feedback. Some will be hostile, but listen to it anyway. Your customer are trying to tell you what’s important.

Hype.
Nobody want’s to be sold anything anymore. If a website tries too hard to sell, people will simply click away. Instead of selling, make sure your website makes it easy to buy.

Lack of promotion.
Websites are invisible until someone sits down at a computer, logs on to the Internet, and types in a Web address. Make sure your marketing people know how to drive people to your website. If they don’t, find some who do. (It is highly unlikely that you will find them in your IT department.)

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Entry filed under: ebusiness, key executive coach, management, marketing, sales. Tags: , .

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