In yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget
, I gave a list of four things that could improve the success of your website and how you use the internet.
Here's a quick refresher of those four:1. Anticipate customer needs2. Make your website more user friendly3. Invite customers to connect, signup, or visit4. Respond to referral emails from your website quickly
Take a look at this
to find out how to anticipate your customer needs; in the mean time, I'll continue with the rest of the list today.2. Make your website more user friendly
The process of making your website more user friendly is certainly not an easy one. In December 2013, I wrote this Nugget
which details my use of CrazyEgg for heatmapping and Mouseflow for user monitoring. Although Mouseflow features are really nice, they are also very time consuming. I find CrazyEgg to be a little easier to digest, and the interface is faster to use than Mouseflow.
Using CrazyEgg.com, you can measure the results on a single web page for a month. Although Mouseflow will give you heatmap results for your entire website, I find this to be too much information. CrazyEgg helps to keep you focused on a single page test.
At the end of a month, you would stop the CrazyEgg tracking and make changes to your website. Use the results of the heatmap to show you what information on your page needs to be moved around.
Sometimes you might need to change the graphics on your page, sometimes you are changing fonts, and sometimes you are changing colors. Change whatever needs to be changed in order to entice people to click where you want them to click.
Create a new CrazyEgg heatmap test, but don't delete the first one. After another month, you can compare both tests to see how the changes to the web page changed the behavior of the site visitors.
You can use this process to make your website better over time. Even though this is a single page test, it will lead to a better understanding of how visitors use your site, and you'll be able to apply changes that your visitors appreciate to your entire website. Get started with this process using your home page and then other popular pages around your site.3. Invite customers to connect, signup, or visit
This next way to make your website more successful relies on your long term approach to keeping your customers happy. Facebook is ubiquitous now and every site has some invitation for visitors to "Like us on Facebook." Naturally, you need to create a social media strategy if you want to stay connected with your customers through there.
An easier way to stay connected with customers is through emails. Monthly "special offers" eventually become boring, but email newsletters give your customers something more interesting that won't be discarded so quickly. Convincing someone to sign up to your email list is the tricky part, and you've got to convince them to do it.
Don't simply tell people to sign up for your newsletter, explain why they should. Here are some ideas:
"Find out about our future events"
"Receive private invitations to special events"
"Find out about jewelry and fashion trends every month"
"Sign up for email and we promise to send something you'll enjoy reading."
If they sign up for your email list, you should thank them immediately. Most email newsletter systems have autoresponders that send confirmation and thank you emails, but you might also want to consider a more personal touch.
Once someone signs up for your email list, you could redirect them to a page where they can fill out more information about things they like. The information they provide can be very valuable for your future marketing, and email segmentation
But the future is yet to come, and there's no reason to wait for a special occasion. Within a few days of signing up for your email list, you should send them a special email or postcard with an immediate offer for one of the things they like. You could present this initial email as a "clearance sale" for one of the product categories they said they liked.
An e-commerce website could greatly benefit from this approach, but this is also a great strategy for getting that person into your retail jewelry store.4. Respond to referral emails from your website quickly
This last item that will help make your website more successful relies on your willingness to use modern technology.
Those contact forms
on your website can be very valuable. People use them all the time and you need to pay attention to every email you receive from your site. Admittedly, even with CAPTCHA
, you will get a lot of solicitations coming through your site from people claiming how they can increase your SEO or if you can provide an appraisal for some fancy 100ct diamond ring they were left in an estate.
On the other hand, your customers will send you thank you notes through the contact form. They will ask questions about items they see on your website. They will ask if you remember something they bought from you 20 years ago and if you can repair it now. These are real people with real requests, and they always worry if their tiny message will even be read.
This is where modern technology comes into play. You want to make sure all the emails from your Contact Us form can be read and responded to fast. I recommend using your smartphone to monitor a special email account dedicated for this purpose. I also recommend responding to those emails within minutes of you getting one, even if they arrive during off-business hours.
There's no real magic bullet to making your website incredibly successful. In addition to these ideas here you will hear many from other business and internet experts. As you can see, my ideas span a range from scientific testing, to customer communication, and specific business tactics.
We all have to find a way to balance how these different things fit together for our own use and the benefit of our customers. Think of it as the new way to build customer relations of the future... that's already here.