Avoid the Click 'n Flick
Everyone talks about getting visitors to your web site, but what then? How do you turn visitors into customers? The key is that most users of the Internet are seeking detailed, up to date information. Deny them this and you will get what I call the "click and flick".
On the Internet, limited or out of date information is worse than putting telephone callers on hold. With so many competing web sites available, your potential customers will simply click and flick right to the next site.
You can tell if you are getting the click and flick – your site visitor statistics will show very short session times and a low number of pages viewed per session. (If your web site provider can’t supply this information, seriously consider giving them the flick in favour of someone who can.) So how do you avoid this phenomenon and keep visitors on your web site long enough to turn them into customers?
Ensure your web site has enough information for customers to decide to do business with you. The most common oversight, amazingly enough, is pricing information. Internet users want hard information and they want it now - a call, e-mailed quote, or price list tomorrow is often not acceptable.
The next most common problem is lack of detail. While summary information and glossy images are adequate for brochures, web sites need all the background detail your most experienced salesperson gives when dealing with customers in person. Think detailed dimensions, plans, layouts, colour charts, performance data and explanations of design principles. Visitors who have their thirst quenched will leave with a good impression and are more likely to become paying customers.
Hiding information several layers into your web site is useless. If the path to information is not clear, don’t expect visitors to persist until they find it.
But the most insidious and difficult to rectify cause of click and flick is out of date information. Failing to keep your web site up to date is like letting cobwebs multiply on your shopfront. No one would expect a customer to buy from a shop where only last year’s model was on display.
So now you’re all fired up to post detailed information and keep it up to date, how do you do it?
Broadly there are four options.
- Employ or train an in-house Webmaster.
- Pay your web site designer to post changes for you.
- Engage a specialist content provider who will also assist you to present the information effectively, often as part of a broader marketing consultancy.
- Invest in a database driven web site that enables you to add and modify content through an easy to use web interface.
Irrespective of how you keep your content up to date, as long as you maintain a professional appearance and avoid technical errors you will be well ahead of the majority of your competitors. And by avoiding the dreaded "click and flick" you will dramatically increase the value of your Internet investment.
Michelle Davis is Director of Weft Web a web design business that specialises in designing and supporting database driven web sites set up for easy owner content management. Find out more at www.weftweb.net
Copyright (c) Weft Web 2003
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