Wednesday, June 20, 2012

12 Key points to remember when building a website

We all know it. Its common sense. However when working on redoing our current website or when  making a new one we tend to forget a few key points as we are all busy - 'doing'.

So just to re iterate here are those few points, that I think if we keep in mind, we will have our basics right.

  1. Keep all pages simple & Clutter free. Easy to read and easy to move on to other relevant pages within the site.
  2. Make sure the home page has least distractions. Focus your core offerings on the home page. Too much happening on the home page tends to distract the visitor. They should know how they can benefit from what you have to offer and that you are trustworthy.
  3. Whatever product/s or services you are offering - remember the visitor is interested in what is in it for him or her. So tell them what's in it for them - "Find the cell phone most suited for you Here" With a search option, is better than saying - "All models & makes of cell phones available here", and providing a laundry list.
  4. Remember the Internet is an interactive medium, and though your ad may have got the visitor to your page - it is the visitor who chose to click on your ad and come there. Give them something to do. So a search based on some key parameters is better than just a listing that scrolls on and on from A to Z. If listing is important or after the search when you show listing give the visitor options to narrow the results or view them differently.
  5. Make sure your pages starting from the home page load fast, very fast. Else the person can just click away. Remember the fingers are itching to click and move ahead while the visitor is Sitting waiting for a page to load. Options on the internet are many and if your page takes time to load - away they go.
  6. Keep the navigation simple and easy - If they can't get to it in 3 clicks it's not worth having it there. Make sure the primary and secondary navigation are always in the same place on every page. Don't have different navigation structure on different areas on the same site. So if primary is on the top and secondary on the left then keep it that way all cross the site.
  7. If the person is coming from an ad or an email then take them directly to what the offering was - not to the category page and then the sub category page and then the product page. If the message in the email says great offer on 'XYZ cologne' then make sure a click on that takes the person to the relevant page with the offer on the 'XYZ cologne' and the visitor is able to immediately buy from there itself.
  8. Make content - text, images and videos - from the visitors perspective. Keep the text short but conversational. Use images and videos to show what your are offering or saying. Long monologues that make a visitor scroll a lot are a no no. Use videos to explain what would take you multiple paragraphs to write. Use images to show instead of writing reams of descriptions.
  9. Build trust. Keep customer reviews and security icons consistent and across all relevant pages on the website.
  10. Use Live help and make it prominent and consistent on the site so that it's easy to locate and use. Its cost effective plus does a great job of confidence building, as the visitors feels there is someone live on the other side. Train your CRM team so that the visitor gets a feel that you are on the same side and not the other side.
  11. Keep the checkout process short and simple. Trying to collect too much data on the check out and making visitors fill up long forms is a sure shot way of making them run away. Same goes for registration process. Take only whats necessary and remember to tell them why its necessary (for them - their benefit) if its not apparent.
  12. Follow up after the sale. Thank the customer and give them a chance to offer feedback on the purchase or experience. Work on the feedback provided and let them know how their feedback has helped.
Am sure there are many other things that I may have missed out here as I try to focus on some that I consider as most basic and important. So do feel free to write in and add things that you may have experienced.

Happy building......

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