Marketing Executive at BSI Management Systems
09 October 2007 09:58am
Hi Bob, there are a lot of good responses to help you out but none of them mention a call to action as such. I would suggest that you move the information about your location into a contact us area on your site, it doesn't need to be in the prime real estate spot on your homepage.
I would suggest that you describe what you are offering in it's place as it isn't clear to me. If customers are coming to your site that already know what you have to offer then it would be worthhile having a call to action such as Apply now or something similar to that as customers don't want to go searching to purchase.
One really point mentioned by someone else was the change of different size text. Look at your site as if you were reading a paper or magazine, title, sub title (chapter title), and then sub text. You need to give customers opportunity to go straight to the part that they are interested in.
Hope that is some help for you. Let us all know how it goes.
Retired at Retired
10 October 2007 08:37am
Many thanks eveyone for some very helpful responses. What a great forum this is!
Lead Researcher at The Customer Respect Group
11 October 2007 09:00am
A few tips:
The home page looks a bit like one of those landing pages you reach when you type an incorrect URL. I think this is because a visitor will need to make an effort to learn what exactly you do. Use the central area to summarise clearly and concisely what the company does. Putting travel directions in such a key area is not good business. So, expand the tag 'The Market Research Portal with the Price Pledge'. What industry? What clients? What are you offering that is at a competitive price?
For example on the page linked from the first menu item, this is the key text that is seen first:
CMS provides a one-stop shop of business intelligence and business information, including a comprehensive directory of newsletters, market studies, market research reports, business information services, business intelligence resources, books, magazines, bespoke research services, consultancy and more!
This is exactly the type of text that should appear top dead centre of the home page.
Hope this helpsMark
Senior Partner at Impression Media
12 October 2007 08:39am
I would also be interested in your bounce rate for the home page. I'm betting it's fairly high as there is no heart & soul in your webpage. I appreciate that the phrase "heart & soul" is pretty emotive (Can you spot my marketing background?) but this is still an important aspect of your site design. Even if your web designer has gone for a Web 2.0 look and feel, it does not inspire me to carry on through your site.
Other posts cover some of the obvious issues about focus and defining exactly what the user wants to know and what will sell your business to them. The biggest point, already raised in a previous post also, is that you give directions to your office top-centre of your homepage. This is a prime location for a seemingly trivial piece of information.
We like to sit clients down with a simple exercise for working out what goes where on their web pages. In only one sentence define the ONE thing that you offer and that your customers want. Be brutally honest with yourself over this. The result will hopefully enable you to focus on highlighting what it is people want from you. Remember to take a step back and look at your business website as your potential customers might.
The comments above are pretty basic and by no means cover all aspects of the design and review process in devloping your website, we haven't even moved on to 'friction', 'anxiety' etc., but this is a good starting point for you.
12 October 2007 17:51pm
The bounce rate for the site as a whole is 82% vs 72% for the same period last year. Average time on site is a miserly 41 seconds as opposed to 57 seconds last year.
Significant; but not nearly enough to account for the drop-off in sales which is more like a 90% drop. When I said off a cliff I meant it. Traffic is lighter but not this sort of difference.
The thing to know about this site is that most traffic is via search engines (over 90%) and the homepage is not the most common landing page by a long way.
In fact - here is the interesting thing - very interesting. The home page only had 146 page views totally in the last few weeks (out of 30,000 odd - and 87 of those from e-consultancy!!) as opposed to 2,400 in the same period last year. So people are landing on product pages (which contain the keywords) but are not navigating to the homepage. However even last year the home page was not of that much interest to our customers. So I don't think the (admitted) deficiencies on the home page are the problem.
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