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Make Your Website Actually Work for You

Site effectiveness is all about engaging and retaining the user long enough to communicate your message, and to motivate the user to take some action. This article helps you think about creating or renovating your site to do just that.

What Your Website Says About You

To most of your visitors, your site is your company. The visitors have little else on which to base a judgement about you, your products and/or your services. That being the case, the ‘true cost’ of a website includes not only the quoted price but also the perception of your credibility, your trustworthiness, your professionalism. The perception of these values can be destroyed in a moment as the first page downloads. Or if you are fortunate, the perception can be enhanced.
It comes down to this: while the first impression created by the designer brings the visitor into the site, it’s the overall user experience that keeps them coming back… and what good is a site that never gets repeat visits?

- Nick Finck, Digital Web Magazine, Sept 24, 2001

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Emotion plays a dominant role in the decisions people make. Therefore you need to identify the emotions that are key to your business or organization. These are your key/core values, and can be challenging to define, so think carefully about them.

The single biggest motivator in engaging the user is not data, nor is it facts; it’s emotional response. Users take action when they feel comfortable, when they feel they can trust you, when the process feels natural and reassuring, and when they come to believe that the action will make them feel good.

The "I Don’t Want to Think" Phenomenon

Users do not want to spend time thinking while viewing a web page. That’s not why they went to your site. What they want are answers/solutions in ‘news bite’ sizes.

Regardless of the quantity of information provided by a site, it’s imperative to allow the user to ‘drill down’ through the information categories to arrive at the specific, and/or related, information if the site is to be effective. You don’t want to drown your visitor in tons of information that may be irrelevant to his particular needs.

Why It Is Hard To Figure How Much Your Website Should Cost

According to conventional thinking, if you feel that the benefit you received was worth more than the price you paid, then it has a high Quality–Price Ratio (QPR). If you don’t, then the product or service has a low QPR. This is the way a lot of site owners gauge the value of their site.

Unfortunately, there is a fatal flaw in applying the QPR to your site. You, the owner, are not the site’s consumer. Your visitors are the consumers.

Your site is not an expense; it is an investment. Consequently, a more useful perspective than QPR is provided by Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors in history. He is quoted as saying:

Price is what you pay. Value is what you receive

An up-to-date and effective website is one of the most important tools in your Marketing Strategy. Use it wisely not miserly.


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