When I look at a client's Web site for the first time, I always ask
myself, "What does this Web site want me to do?" In most cases, I have no
idea what the site wants me to do -- and that's a big problem. If your site
does not have a clear sense of direction, a path for your visitors to
follow, then they may leave without doing anything. In fact, that's often
exactly what happens.
Therefore, the first step to building an effective Web site is to
decide what you want people to do when they arrive. I know, you want them to
In a perfect world, people would search for whatever it is
that you're selling, find your Web site in the
search engines, click through
to your site, and immediately head for the order page. However, in the real
world it works more like this:
Customer searches for something like "best
Customer finds thousands of Web sites that all
sell or discuss digital cameras.
Customer clicks through to several of the Web
sites in the search results.
Customer clicks around on various Web sites,
trying to decide which digital camera to purchase and from which site.
Customer becomes confused and overwhelmed. Each
Web site claims to have the best digital camera or to be the best
digital camera vendor. They can't ALL be the best can they?
Customer decides to do more research and puts off
his buying decision for another day.
Most people don't make an immediate purchase on their first visit
to a Web site. However, by following the following suggestions I will give
you in this and potentially subsequent articles, you can increase the
percentage of first-visit purchases.