Wednesday, May 25, 2005

10 Questions for Your Website

One of the most interesting sessions I went to today at B2B London was presented by Richard Bush of Base One Interactive, a web marketing company.

As part of his presentation, Richard looked at some good and bad websites and asked the following questions. How many can you genuinely check off for your website?

  1. Does the homepage say who you are, what you do and who you do it for? (Most get 1 or 2 out of 3!)
  2. Is the navigation clear and logical?
  3. Is the labelling written from a buyer's perspective?
  4. Does the homepage highlight areas of interest that draw the buyer in?
  5. Does the site effectively demonstrate and prove your expertise, competence and experience?
  6. Does the site recognise the needs of different decision makers?
  7. Is there rich content available to encourage interaction?
  8. Does the site encourage users to leave their details? (You would be surprised at those that don't!)
  9. Does the site include contextual links to guide users through to "calls to action"?
  10. When you look at the site do you feel interested, engaged and wanting more?
These are terrific prompts and I doubt very much if most corporate sites could get much over 50%.

Note that, as I have mentioned recently, Richard highlights designing for the user/buyer. Look at your products and services from their perspective. What are they looking for? What do they want to see? Google backed this up in a presentation shortly afterwards (more on that later) in which they said to design the websites firstly for your users not search engines.

If the above didn't inspire you, Google quoted a Marketing Sherpa survey from last year which found that 95% of B2B buyers use search engines (and thus websites) to research new products.

Can you afford not to get it right?