This is especially true with your Online Marketing.
The Most Important Person Is Your Site Visitor
I can see a whole lot of people stopping here because they think I am just stating the obvious – well, yes, I am stating the obvious.
So why do we all keep getting it wrong over and over again? Big companies with multi-million dollar advertising and development budgets, medium sized businesses, small businesses and individuals.
I am very technology and web literate, however, I really struggle on a lot of sites – to be honest most sites.
Ever tried to find anything out on the Australian Tax Office website? Good luck with that one.
SP Keeps Getting This Wrong Too
Now we know about this issue. We know it can lose a lot of sales from people who will quickly give up and go somewhere else.
But we keep getting it wrong. Why?
The answer for all of us is that this is perhaps one of the hardest things we will ever do.
Like us you have a knowledge of your products and services built up often over many years.
I can ask you about your widget XYZ50134 and you will tell me that it has a left handed 3mm Thread and it will work with the 1997 Doohicky model 2134XZ but not with the XX because you know all this.
Your site visitor just knows that they have a broken washing machine and needs to know how do they can get it fixed. They don’t even know that the motor is driven by a Doohicky. It is not relevant to them.
Ok this is a pretty glib and ridiculous example, however, the point remains that we all understand our products and services pretty well so it is difficult to place ourselves in the shoes of a site visitor who knows little or nothing.
Mobile Browsing Just Makes This Far Worse
So along comes a smartphone and a whole new proposition for your online marketing.
You now have about 1/3 of the screen width of your existing website and a very limited screen height to provide relevant information to your site visitor and to get them to take the action you want them to take.
Horizontal (left to right and vice versa) scrolling on a Smartphone is a serious annoyance for your site visitor. Please do not expect them to do that.
Yet this would be how about 99.99999% of websites currently work on a Smartphone after your site visitor re-sizes your site so they can actually read the text.
Don’t believe me – try it!
Look at the top image to the right versus the lower image to the right. Which looks simpler to use?
Vertical scrolling is far more acceptable BUT not ad infinitum please.
Their patience will only last so long.
Some Things To Think About
Ok, you cannot fix all of these things overnight. In fact, here at SP we see improving our site as a never-ending on-going process that is driven by all of our site stats and every comment (negative or positive) we get from our site visitors.
First of all ask your self the following;-
- Can my website help to get people to call / contact my business?
- Can I make sales from my website?
- Will this contact / these sales positively drive revenue?
- Will this improve profit within my business?
If the answer to all of the above is yes then you need to decide whether improving the experience of site visitors can improve your results for all of the above and by how much.
Then it is simply a matter of comparing what you think you can make in terms of additional profit versus what it will cost you to make these improvements.
Of course there is a competitive component as well – what are your competition doing and do you want to get a leg up on them or even catch up with them if they have done better than you in this area.
This Is All About Marketing AND Usability – It is Not About Technology
Too many people expect others to fix their problems.
You cannot absolve yourself of responsibility in this area.
You know your products and services, you know your market and you know what you need them to do.
You also know that in most markets the goal posts keep moving as well.
So continuous improvement is down to you NOT your marketing consultant or your web developer.
You need to be continually asking your self every time you need to make a change or addition to your website – will this enhance the user’s experience on my website or will it make it more difficult.
You can get great advice from your “team”, however, at the end of the day they get paid anyway – they are the chicken and you are the pig in your businesses morning plate of bacon and eggs.
Now Is The Time to Give This Maximum Attention
It is predicted that the volume of search from Mobile devices will outstrip the volume of search from desktop devices by 2015.
As I stated earlier – usability and presentation of information is far more difficult when you are having your site viewed on a Smartphone.
I am guessing that nearly all of you reading this post will not currently have a website that has been customised for mobile site visitors.
You will need one. This is not a guess. It is a fact.
The time to start thinking about who will be searching for businesses in your market niche on a Smartphone and how they will make their choice and whether that choice will be your business and what they will do to contact you was 12 months ago.
But most people really haven’t woken up to that as yet so you still have a head start if you start today.
Still reading? STOP. Go do it. NOW!!!