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How Use Cases Can Cause You To Rethink Your Web Design

Architect at his drawing board. This wood engr...
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Do you know what you are wanting your visitors to do once they come across your website? How effective are you at doing that?

Not knowing why (and hence how) people use your website is a major cause of high bounce rates. For every website you design, a primary purpose should be in mind. That is, what are you hoping to achieve by having the website?

This is the first question I ask my clients.

“What are you hoping to achieve by having the website?”

Invariably, 90% of the time the answer is “to get the phone to ring more”, “to gain more customers”, “to get people to contact us for information” or some variation. The way you architect your website will change slightly depending on the answer to this question.

For most business websites that represent offline businesses they want the customer to discover information about their products and services, then get them to call and order.

Be aware of the effects of displaying information too early

One interesting problem I have with smaller business customers is displaying information like phone numbers too early on to the customer which removes our ability to track information about our visitors.

While this isn’t necessarily a devastating thing to do, it makes it very difficult to track the effectiveness of changes to the website. By checking how many people visit the contact page coming from blog posts and services pages we have a way to measure how effective using a blog can be for a website.

I’m personally a fan of centralizing important information such as contact details in one place on your website, this enables better tracking of when visitors are converting and performing actions that you want them to perform and provides a logical point to lead your visitors.

Displaying information too early can also have a dramatic affect on your bounce rates. If you’ve incorporated a blog and a more personal interactive quality to your website design this can be disaster. You want your visitors to click around your site, consuming information and when they are ready to buy (or subscribe, or enter their details, or whatever) then lead them to the place you want them to go.

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