By Jerry Bader (c) 2008
Every week I get asked to look at business websites and tell the
owners why they’re not getting the results they want. Some of
these sites are straightforward brochures, others are e-commerce
catalogs, and some are those direct-mail-style pitches
reminiscent of old mail-order magazine subscription schemes
ported-over to the Web. Some have incorporated do-it-yourself
audio and video and some even had this media professionally
produced; still the results stink. Why?
All posts tagged Website
By Jerry Bader (c) 2008
To an Administrator, there is nothing more peaceful than a stable and optimized DNS server. The moment there is a wrong configuration, the server wakes up and starts crying, sites and email goes down. An important part of keeping DNS that way is properly setting up the SOA records.
What are DNS Records. DNS records or Zone files are used for mapping URLs to an IPs. Located on servers called the DNS servers, these records are typically the connection of your website with the outside world. Requests for your website are forwarded to your DNS servers and then get pointed to the WebServers that serve the website or to Email servers that handle the incoming email.
1. Email Newsletters
Email newsletters let you maintain a relationship with your customers that lasts beyond their visits to your site. The newsletter is the perfect website companion because it answers a different user need: newsletters keep customers informed and in touch with the company; websites give customers detailed information and let them perform business transactions.
Newsletters are fairly cheap. They require little technology and mustn’t be published too frequently. If you don’t have a newsletter, then publishing one is probably the single-highest ROI action you can take to improve your Internet presence. If you do have a newsletter, then improving it according to research findings will likely make it several times more valuable to your organization. (Most of the newsletters we’ve tested failed to meet users’ expressed desire for good communication.)
Newsletters have one more benefit: they are the primary way to liberate your site from dependence on search engines. In the long run, achieving this liberation is one of the most important strategic challenges facing Internet managers.
2. Informative Product Pages
The product pages on e-commerce sites, marketing sites, and B2B sites all suffer from information deficit. It’s rare to see product descriptions that tell prospects everything they need to know to make a purchasing decision.
In my recent book, I present data showing that poor product information accounted for 8% of the usability problems on the websites we tested. Even worse, poor product information accounted for 10% of the user failures (that is, cases where users gave up, as opposed to “just” being delayed or annoyed). Designing product pages according to user needs is a highly targeted way to encourage sales at a point where users have already indicated interest by virtue of visiting the page.
You need detailed product information, but it must be written in a way that makes sense to people who aren’t experts in your field. For example, on the product page for a laptop, don’t be like Dell and tell people that the screen is “WSXGA+.” Tell them it’s 1680 x 1050 pixels. (Be honest: did you know this? And you’re probably five times as geeky as a normal person.) Or, better yet, be like Apple and show different screen resolutions next to each other so users can see how much data is visible with each.
Read in an article by Jerry Bader, MRPwebmedia
Don’t Speed-It-Up; Slow-It-Down
How many times have you sat in front of the computer with your hand resting on your mouse searching for some desired product, service, or information, when all of sudden you find what looks like what you want, but before you even have a chance to discover exactly what it is, your hair-trigger finger decides it’s time to move-on. It’s like your finger has a mind of it’s own.
Speed Kills Marketing Efforts
All the talk and discussion about short attention spans caused by people raised on video games and quick-cut-edited music videos is very misleading.
What website visitors won’t tolerate are websites that waste their time, and many websites are guilty of exactly that. Contrary to popular belief, the job of a website designer, who understands marketing, is not to speed up website visitors, but to slow them down so they can absorb the marketing message.
If you want your audience to remember you, if you want to make an impression, if you want website visitors to understand why they should give you their business, then you have to slow them down long enough to absorb your message. And that message better be worth their while or they will nevÃ«r come back.
It isn’t about how fast a page loads; it’s about delivering an appropriate payoff for the wait.
Now I will admit there are people who absolutely, positively will not wait more than eight seconds for anything to load. You know who you are. And I say, the hell with them. These are the same people who won’t wait their turn in a brick and mortar store either, they demand to be served before everyone else – it’s just not possible to satisfy these people, so why design your entire website marketing around them. They are nevÃ«r going to hang around long enough to grasp your message and learn why they should be giving you their business, so forget about them.
The people you should be worrying about are the ones that really want to find out more about what it is you do, and are prepared to invest a little time and effort to give you a chance to explain yourself. These are the important people; this is your real audience, and you disappoint them at your financial peril.
The Reasons Why Web-users Are Impatient
The real reason website users are so damn impatient is not that they have such short attention spans, it’s because most websites are designed to meet perceived company objectives, rather than audience needs.
In case you’ve missed it, the Web has changed; it seems like just yesterday it was good enough to take all your brochures and advertising collaterals and convert them to digital format, add a little search engine optimization, throw-in a little PHP programming and bingo, you’ve got a website. And if you wanted to show how cutting edge your company was, maybe you’d add a little dash of Flash animation, or some royalty fr
Some website developers, in an effort to make their websites accessible, provide two versions of their website”
Yesterday, the website googleblog.blogspot.com went blank returning a “Not Found” page, which lead to speculation that someone had maliciously hacked the site. After some investigation, Google announced that the blog deletion was in fact an accident by one if its employees.
Google blog: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/03/and-were-back.html#links