Website Success – what is it?

There are a couple of very important key elements in a successful website. This posting is focused on when the person GETS to your website – not on the strategies to get them to the website in the first place.  Once the person arrives you just have 5 to 10 seconds to get their attention or they will leave.

From the point of view of the visitor to your website:

  • It speaks to them to reflect their needs / wants / problems and pains
  • It shows how your business or organization speak to these and provide something – a product or solution that is going to make them feel better, be successful, get rich, save time, get better organized, learn something, find rewarding activities, able to connect to something worthwhile etc.
  • On your website you need content, structure, design, navigation that makes it easy to find things – but people don’t go reading a website page by page – they need to see exactly what they need and get to it easily
  • In other words – a person using the Internet is interested in “What’s in it for me”.  – They are not really interested in YOUR mission YOUR goals, YOUR objectives.  They will check those out but only if they see right up front that there is something there that speaks directly to them and meet some specific need.

From YOUR point of view:

  • You want to attract them to get to the website in the first place (first time visitor)
  • You want them to RETURN – so you have to give them a reason to return (return visitors)
  • You want to know who they are – if they are a qualified lead – so you want them to sign up for something.  This could be for your newsletter, a white paper, a tip sheet or something that they will get by putting in a MINIMAL amount of information – e.g. their email address.  This puts them into your system. (you need a system)
  • Then you need a plan of how you continue to engage these people.
  • In other words your “Calls to Action” on the website are at different levels. The entry level is when they are kind of interested and do want to stay reminded and get more information from you.  Then you groom them up through some specific levels – get them to buy something or register for something – with more info and maybe even a payment.  For nonprofits you may have lower donation levels, a teleseminar on a topic that they want to learn more about, or a community event.
  • You must define the goals of the website – the goal should not just be to have a lot of traffic and hits – but build return visits, and build specific actions that you want them to take.  Then using other methods – engage the web audience in other activities that continues to build the relationship.

These elements apply whether you have a website, a blog, a landing page, a squeeze page, an opt in page.

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About Denise

Internet and media strategies for nonprofits, film, travel writing and photography
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