For Online Success, Put Yourself in the Site Visitor’s Place

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve just done a search (probably on Google) for some information. You click on one of the results, but don’t see what you want. So you spot a promising link and click there. But still you can’t find what you’re after. So you go to the site map, hoping to locate it; no luck. Finally, after several frustrated minutes, you abandon the site altogether. You never return to it.

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Studies show that millions of Internet users have similar experiences ever day. The truth is, people don’t go online to see fancy graphics, multimedia presentations, or even to buy things in most cases. What they want is facts, data, information. The sites that give it to them will enjoy repeat visitors. Those that don’t will be banished to the nether regions of SERP results.

A Convenience Store, not a Treasure Hunt

Why do some people love to visit flea markets, closeout merchandisers, or antiques stores? Is it because they’re searching for a particular item and want to get it in a hurry? No. They’re drawn by the allure of the unexpected, and the chance of finding some amazing treasures amidst the old lamps, out-of-date canned goods, or boxes of tube socks. They’re treasure hunting.

Conversely, what makes people stop by a convenience store at the end of a busy work day? They’re tired, they’re in a hurry, they’d rather be somewhere else. But they go anyway, because they need a specific item: a tank of gas, loaf of bread, gallon of milk, whatever. They’re in no mood to hunt for treasure. Convenience store owners know this, and arrange their merchandise accordingly.

The vast majority of your site visitors are like convenience store shoppers. They know what they’re after, and they want it right away. Satisfy this need and they’ll remember you and come back again.

Arranging the Shelves

Given this, how should website content services arrange pages? With these factors in mind:

  • Visitors want specific information. What time is the meeting tonight? How much is printer X? Where is your office located? Can I get fries with that?
  • They want the information now; no wasted seconds while unneeded images download. They don’t care what your office in Phoenix looks like.
  • They want the information to be easy to find; no useless clicks, no thinking.
  • Give them these things and they’ll probably drop in again. They might even stay longer next time.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Great websites are customer centric. They anticipate site visitor’s needs and satisfy them, quickly. And, because of this, they succeed. If there is a formula for Internet success, then that’s it. Now you’ve got what you came for. Come back soon!

Bill W is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.


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