In this web optimization series, we’re looking at methods to increase conversions – the number of site visitors who respond to your call to action to make a purchase, get a quote, or contact you.
When we talk about features and functionality, we’re talking about the options provided for visitors to interact with the site. Each site will use different tactics, depending on what it is you’re selling, so translate the examples to your own business situation.
Features and functionality meet common user goals and objectives. Harkening back to our earlier marketing series, you really have to take the consumers’ perspective to meet user needs. In this case, think about all of the reasons why a visitor might come to your site. Break it down into small steps along the path to a decision. What do they want to accomplish? Perhaps find out if you sell a certain product or provide a particular service. Perhaps comparing prices or level of expertise. If you sell clothing, have you provided a sizing chart? If you’re a hair salon, are you open in the evening? Can a customer book an appointment online? Make as long a list as you can about what that shopper might want to learn or do, and compare that to your current site. Do you need to add a search function? An online appointment booking function? A sizing calculator?
Features and functionality support users desired workflows. One of my pet peeves is a good example here. I’m shopping online for promotional products. I search for drinkware and get several pages of different tumblers, mugs, etc. I click on an item near the end of the page to get more info. It’s not what I’m looking for, so I click to go back. But instead of going back to where I left off, I’m at the top of the page again, and have to scroll down line after line to figure out where I was. On the positive side, my bank now lets me enter several different bills to pay on the same page, so when I click submit, they all get done at once.
Frequently-used tasks are readily available and well supported. Speaking of banks, the industry has actually done a pretty good job of this, particularly with their mobile apps. You can check your balance with one touch on your phone, or login to pay bills, transfer money between accounts, or send money to someone via text or email. If you sell contact lenses, for example, saving the ordering information to allow a simple repeat order, will be appreciated by your customers.
Users are adequately supported according to their level of expertise. Providing functionality without proper instructions is frustrating for users, and therefore works against you. If you don’t want to clutter up the pages for your more savvy buyers, you can use a help icon that opens up a box of info without leaving the page.
Calls to action are clear, and easy to take. Every call to action should also provide the means to take that action. If you say, “Call us,” provide the phone number. Don’t make site visitors hunt for your contact information or the quote request you’re referring to. Make sure that when they are ready to take the action, they can take it immediately.
How is your website stacking up so far? If you need to make some modifications, just give us a call at 604-556-0211 or toll free at 1-877-999-4427.
Web Optimization – Part 1: The Home Page
Web Optimization – Part 2: Design & Navigation
Web Optimization – Part 3: Features & Functionality
Web Optimization – Part 4: Content
Web Optimization – Part 5: Performance