Thursday, January 01, 2009

6 Usability Tips to Maximize B2B Website Conversion

Usability tips for B2B websites ...

"B2B marketers invest a substantial amount of time, effort, and money driving visitors to websites. Making sure the site adheres to basic usability principles is critical to maximizing online marketing results and alleviating obstacles that prevent prospects from taking the desired actions.

Below are six, easy to implement usability tips to ensure that visitors get the most from your site and you get the most for your search marketing investment.

Answer prospects’ basic questions first

During the usability studies I’ve conducted, one of the most often repeated complaints I’ve heard is about having to wade through marketing fluff (as in I don’t bother reading this marketing fluff). Your visitors have little patience to read through your carefully crafted marketing message. They simply want to get to the content they need with a minimum amount of effort.

Upon clicking through to your website, visitors immediately want to validate that:

1. They are in the right place.
2. They understand what they can (and can’t) do on your website.
3. They can get the information they need and/or take the desired action.

Some of the most common questions visitors have include:

* What does this company offer?
* What can I do on this site?
* Where can I go next?

Providing answers to these basic questions will immediately give your prospects a sense of place and encourage them to explore further.

Additionally, make sure your product, solution, or service information is readily available. Provide concrete details that help prospects evaluate your offerings and differentiate your firm from the competition (e.g., specification lists, fact sheets, or comparison charts).

Facilitate easy scanning

The simple truth is that the large majority of visitors to your website are going to scan your content rather than read it. Make your content easily digestible. “Chunk” pages into discrete segments with prominent, understandable headlines.

And by all means, use:

* Active voice
* Concise and actionable text
* Bullet points instead of lengthy paragraphs
* Link names that clearly establish the context of the destination"    (Continued via Search Engine Land, Mary Harste)    [Usability Resources]

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