by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Blogging, Communication, Content, WebTagged as: Conversion, Digital Strategy, Journey
What makes a web site great? What might come to mind is great design, easy-to-find information, and intuitive functionality. These may have made the top of the list in 2003 (or even 2013) , but are, at best, merely sufficient today.
Many professional marketers now understand where the web fits into the mix: it is the hub that every marketing initiative (ads, media relations, direct mail, Social Media, etc) drives to. When the user arrives at the site, they experience great design, easy-to-find information, and intuitive functionality. Then nothing happens.
Today’s websites need three critical ingredients to justify their existence and warrant their investment:
1) A clearly defined goal: If indeed the web is a step in the user’s “journey”, what must the website accomplish in order to move the user to the desired next step? Is it to transact? To call a phone number? Subscribe to a newsletter? Without a goal the website has no purpose: at best it is a meal of empty calories.
2) Audition: With the overall goal in mind every page must audition for a place on the site. Why is the page needed? What is it supposed to accomplish? Pages that don’t have a purpose aligned with the goal are superfluous, and get in the way of achieving it.
The concept of “audition” is equally relevant on each page: every graphical element, every paragraph, and every bit of functionality must also pull its weight.
3) Call to Action: When a user gets to a specific page, there are two key questions that must be answered: a) What might the user want to do next? If they can’t do it easily, they will abandon their journey: they’ll go elsewhere. b) What do you want them to do next? If you don’t make it easy for them to do this, then your marketing goals will never be realized.
Every page – not just the transaction pages – must have a Call to Action (CTA) that satisfies both requirements. Here are some examples of CTA content:
This Week’s Action Plan: Examine your three most visited web pages: they probably have great design, easy-to-find information, and intuitive functionality. But if they had to audition for their spot on the site, how would they do? And how strong is the CTA? If you’re not satisfied, then do something about it.
Marketing Insight: Interested in making your marketing collateral, presentations, and social media more successful? These three ingredients (Goal, Audition, and CTA) are just as relevant here as on the web.
Marketing Insight #2: Goal/Audition/CTA also applies to blog posts. Here’s how it works with this one:
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