De-clutter Your Site!
5 Reasons to Spring Clean Your Web Space.

By Cyndy Bolton

When wasthe last time you took a good look at your web site? Did you put it online a few years ago? Have you visited your site since then? If you're not confident in it's ability to reinforce customer loyalty, then it's probably time to do some research.

Investigate what's out there. The time thatit will take you todo some web-based market research will surely pay off in the long run. Mark down what you like aboutyour competitors' sites,and bookmark them in your browser. On your list, briefly explain why you like them. Is it the theme that appeals to you, or the mechanics of a feature? Does the e-commerce section function better than yours? Change your perspective and try to look at the site through the eyes of your client. Is it easy to get to where they need to be?

When you are done your research, summarize your results before you present them to your web developer, or design department. Tell them specifically what the problems are. Remember, it's their job to come up with cost-effective solutions that you and your clients can live with.

5top reasons to revisit your web site are:

  1. Company branding has changed, and your web site needs to reflect this. If the image of your company andit's site (or any other part of your corporate identification) are not in sync, you may cause customers to be confused. Ultimately, you could lose a sale. Remember to keep it simple.

  2. You wish to incorporate a new technology into your site. Maybe you wouldlike to add an optional customer satisfaction survey to the end of the purchasing process. This is a very usefulway to capture invaluable marketing information.

  3. Sales are dipping in youre-commercereports. You have decided that it's time for an expert to update your online purchasing system, and address the reasons why your clients are buying elsewhere.

  4. You heard somewhere about the 3-click rule. If your client can't get to where they need to be on your site within 3 clicks, they leave. Your site must be efficient. Too much information can confuse or bore them. Stay on target.

  5. The current trend in site design is towards a simpler layout. Home pages are more graphical and less text oriented. Don't overwhelm your customers with TMI (too much information). A streamlined,simple monochromatic color scheme, with possibly an accent color is ideal. Photos or images are kept to a minimum.

If any of the reasons above apply to you and your site, maybe its time for further study. If you are an entrepreneur or own a smaller company, recruit family and friends to visit your site and give constructive criticisms. If your firm is larger, you may decide to institute a market study, and use online survey tools.

Solutions may be as easy as getting your site administrator to swap out a few images (like those on your home page). Updating content can freshen your site too. If you are willing and able to do this yourself, then the result may be well worth the effort. Remember to create a supporting market announcement regarding the updated site. Send out emails to suppliers and clients who opted for these types of communications.