More Than Usability
The importance of web usability cannot be underestimated. Yet it is important to recognize it takes a lot more than just having a usable web site to be successful online. Usability primarily focuses on making things easy to use and understand. Regardless of how easy a web site is to use it also needs to have consistent and increasing visitor traffic. Traffic generation falls under the category of internet marketing. Marketing concentrates on product or service awareness and as part of the sales process. It is important for any web site owner to make use of both usability and marketing.
Marketing isn't always Usable
There are some techniques direct marketing techniques that directly contradict sound usability principles. One such technique is the use of pop ups. For years pop up windows created usability issues. Yet from a marketing perspective pop ups are great way to collect email addresses. Email addresses can be used to drive a marketing campaign for a product or service.
Bridging Usability and Marketing
One distinct area where web usability and internet marketing are complementary is when it comes to user testing. User testing is crucial for both disciplines. In web usability testing you collect data to identify positive or negative trends. Those trends are used to enhance an improve a web site or online process. Testing is also used in the area of marketing to improve advertising performance. Internet marketers frequently use Split testing to improve the performance of various marketing pieces: PPC ads, sales letter, or headlines to name a few. The importance of testing needs to be placed on objectivity. It is very easy to throw overshadow "what the boss wants" as opposed to what people are saying.
There are a number of marketing techniques that don't conform with good usability standards. The most profitable web sites find the right balance between web usability and marketing. From experience I’ve seen web sites that give deference to marketing, sacrificing usability, and doing tremendously well on the financial front.
Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:
- What is Web Usability? And Why You Should Care . . .
- Web Usability: The Importance of Balancing Content and Graphic Design
- Hitting a HOME RUN with Your Web Site
- Don’t Pollute Your Web Site
- Do You Make These Usability Mistakes?
- Objectivity Paves the Way to Online Success
- LCU (Least Competent User) Usability Testing
- Web Usability - ALERT! Dominant Users and Focus Groups
- The Event Promotion System
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