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« Questions You Need To Ask Regarding Your Web Site | Main | Tracking The Effectiveness of Traditional Marketing with The Internet »

"I Have No Clue What They Do, Do You?"

A few weeks ago I was in a follow up meeting with a client.  The client couldn't stop raving about the positive feedback they were receiving on their newly redesigned web site. The design firm that redesigned the client's web site had done a great job. My part of the project was to advise on web usability issues. During the course of our discussion the client decided to visit the development company's web site.  It was at that point that the discussion became very interesting.

We've Spent Three Months Working With Them
As the client loaded the developer's web page, I took the opportunity to conduct an impromptu usability study.  Initially, the client spent a few moments on the home page and then a few minutes noodling on secondary pages.  After a few more minutes of exploring the developer's web site the client responded with this statement, "we've spent the last three months working with this company, yet when I go to their web site I have no idea what they actually do." The irony of the situation is that this same scenario presented above plays out on a regular basis for many companies. Regardless how good your product or service, your web site might not give users the information they seek.  It is also important for companies to ask the question, "am I giving the web user a good reason to pickup the phone or contact me via email?"

Going to the Stat Sheet
After meeting with the client, I decided to look into the matter a little further. The first place I started was with the development company's web statistics.  The owner of the development company is a friend and he was good enough to allow me access to the company's web statistics. Their web statistics tell a very interesting story.  The average user spends over eight minutes of time on the company's web site and views more than 7 individual pages.  Those are some pretty respectable numbers for any company web site. A majority of their users aren't bouncing out off the site after viewing a page or two. Thousands of people visited this company's web site, and not one visitor has picked up the phone or emailed to inquire about their services. If thousands of people are coming to your web site and taking absolutely no action, you should be concerned.

A Silver Lining
I do believe that the situation presents an advantageous opportunity for the development company or any other company caught in a similar dilemma. If you haven't had an opportunity to do so, get your current clients to review your company web site. I find that satisfied clients are pretty good about providing good feedback without patronizing.  If don't have clients to rely on, ask some friends who are objective to help. As long as you can view the feedback objectively, the information you collect can be used to strengthen and refine your online presence. You might be surprised what you can learn.

The lesson to be learned is pretty straight forward. If thousands of people are visiting your company web site, viewing numerous pages, and spending a lot of time on your site, then doing nothing about it . . . you have a problem.  You need to recognize the situation and do something about it.

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