Part of the planning activity for Web content is to identify what visitors want to find or do on your site. Analyzing visitors' needs and expectations will help you choose the best way to implement information and interactivity on the site.
Understanding Visitor Activity
Gaining an understanding of what visitors want will more successfully guide your choices about the amount and type of content and interaction on the site. Examples of visitor activity include:
* Retrieving overview or detailed information about a specific product, service, or event.
* Purchasing a product or registering for an activity online.
* Reviewing background information on a consultant, company, or organization.
* Researching information on a specific topic or interest.
* Finding the location of the nearest store or dealer.
* Obtaining Web-only special prices and sales incentives such as free shipping, feature upgrades, and extended warranties.
* Contacting your company via email to discuss a need or ask a question.
For example, you can determine whether to offer complete documents, such as brochures or articles, or instead place a "quick-read" summary on the Web.
Serving Diverse Audience Needs
Consider the needs and capabilities of your audience when determining what elements or information to place on a Web site. For example, consider the age, cognitive, and visual abilities of the target audience; cultural considerations; and whether their PCs and Internet connection will be adequate to provide an effective display of or interaction with text content, visuals, and multimedia elements.
You may want to organize areas of the site with content targeted specifically to each audience. For example, create separate customer and dealer areas, or areas that are organized according to audience interests, location, or other factors.
Accommodating International Visitors
Your planning activity may need to consider how to manage content across separate Web sites for multiple countries or markets or multilingual content on the main company site.
Using Technology Appropriately
Understand the capabilities of Web technologies (e.g., scripts, Flash, personalization, database interaction) and how they can be used effectively to present information, enhance the visitor's experience, and guide online activities.
Giving Visitors What They Want
By analyzing the factors described in this article, you can create a Web site that better serves visitor needs for information and interaction. Even better, it will be a site that will attract and engage more visitors--the goal of any company that markets online.
About the author
Copyright(c)2006, Janice M. King. Used by permission. Janice is an award-winning freelance copywriter who helps technology companies around the world produce clear, compelling sales and PR materials. This article is excerpted in part from Janice's latest book, Copywriting That Sells High Tech, which has been called "a superb guide to great copy for any technology-based product or service." Learn about the book and find many valuable resources for high-tech marketing at Janice's site: http://www.writinghightech.com