"Meeting Visitor Expectations: Hate To Tell You This, But It's NOT About You","
When you access a web site, do you think about the owner of that site? Do you care if that web site succeeds as an on-line business? Do you have certain expectations when you visit for the first time?
As the owner of a web-based business, you have certain objectives.
However, they aren't the objectives of the site visitor who may be shopping around for a better price (comparison shopping), seeking the advice of a business or financial consultant or printing out directions to your store across town.
Visitors arrive on site, at some expense and effort on your part, however they fail to find the information they're looking for and they bounce - they leave before they perform your most desired action.
Any attempt to ""fool"" visitors is bound to fail.
The tactics that worked five years ago don't work today.
Even capturing an email address with an ethical bribe no longer works.
It's just not worth the hassle.
It MAY be your glitzy home page with a fancy Flash animated carousel and a complete, 20-minute video sell piece, but a site visitor is just as likely to land on an interior page - a landing page deep within your site accessed by an in-bound link from another site, a pay-per-click ad (PPC) or even organic search engine results.
That's why web site navigation is so important.
And the longer a visitor stays on site, the more likely they are to perform that all-important MDA.
Confusing navigation creates confused visitors - visitors who don't want to ""figure out"" what a navigation tab means.
Benefits, Not Features
Features describe an aspect of a product or service.
For example, if you sell lawn mowers, you might be tempted to stress the fact that this particular model uses a key to start the lawn mower engine.
The benefits? No more pulling the start cord.
Simplifies lawn mowing chores.
Tell them what's in it for them in no uncertain terms.
It's about benefits.
All of your web site copy should be targeted at meeting the needs of site visitors.
TELL them what your products or services do to them and for them.
Provide numerous means for site visitors to contact you.
They want more information before they sign up.
The ability to contact your help desk or order desk easily, using a number of common tools, indicates that your on-line business is all about site visitor satisfaction.
Your web site is open 24/7 and you never know when a prospect needs a little hand holding.
When you see an unidentified charge on your credit card and discover it's a late fee, for instance, you can often get that charge reversed simply by talking to a human who's empowered to credit your account.
Install an email module on your site - a link that opens an email box into which visitors can enter questions that don't need an immediate response.
Simplify the contact process.
Many larger companies employ this tool.
Often, it's easier than trying to get through by telephone and the advice sent back to the visitor has been vetted, i.
it's accurate and correct.
The plain truth may be a little painful when you weigh the amount of time, energy and capital you've laid out to build your on-line web business but it's true: site visitors simply don't care about you when they land on your web site.
The first question any site visitor asks is ""What's in it for me?"" Answer that question quickly and easily, equip the visitor to move through your site without a lot of headaches, simplify the checkout or contact process and talk about visitor benefits, not product or service features.
Meet visitor expectations and expect to see your most desired action performed more frequently.