Here are five pieces of advice by IvoryResearch experts that spell out what you “need” to do or to have, as opposed to advice telling you things you already know. These days, telling a web master that his or her websites need to be responsive is like telling somebody it is not okay to smoke on a plane. Here are five pieces of advice that will make your website more useable and more useful to your target audience.
The Content Should Be Dynamically Generated
Your static website may not be enough. If you are advertising a hair salon to the local town, then a static and uncomplicated website is fine, but if you are trying to convert people online, and that is your primary goal, then you need a dynamically generated website.
Can you convert without dynamically generated content? Sure, you can, just like how you can travel to Denver on a bicycle if you wish, but it is far easier in a car…the dynamic content is your car.
Each page, each chunk of content, and each link should be tailor made for the demographics and target audiences that visit your website. Powerful analytic programs should be used to measure each and every user, to put them in categories, and to help you record the results of your tests on each user. Added to which, you should perpetually test your content to see what sizzles and what fizzles.
Bug And Usability Testing Should Be A Daily Occurrence
A pox on all your houses if you are not testing your websites frequently. It needs to involve load testing, multi-platform testing, broken link testing, programming error testing, and human user testing. Some companies do not have the resources needed to run a full spectrum of tests on a day-to-day basis, but even one or two per day is enough so long as it is done systematically.
Trial And Error Test Your Calls To Action
Does it work? Why does/doesn’t it work? What can you add? What should you remove? In what combination do they work? Only through trial and error testing will you find the formula that works for your website, and if it works for your website, then it is working for your user. This includes testing different locations as well as different buttons and links. Remember that people like the illusion of choice.
Trial and error is going to teach you things that nobody else can because the things that testing teaches are exclusive to your website, and some of the insights you find may be surprising. For example, an ETM company website discovered that their “Order Now” links needed to stay at the bottom of their homepage because people that searched for the order links were the ones that almost always saw the sale through. When the “Order Now” buttons were at the top, people would click them and bounce fairly consistently.
Keep A Keen Hold On Your Responsive Design Updates
New versions of technology, and new updates for operating systems, and new viewing options will become a reality throughout the year. That is why it is imperative that the responsive design code on your website is updated to ensure the website still works no matter who is viewing it and on what. The regular and routine testing you are doing should also help highlight responsive design issues.
User Generated Content Can Be Powerful
Let’s not burn this puppy before it barks. User generated content can be a great way to turn your pure and wholesome website into a hate factory. Users can create terrible content if you give them the chance. If you were unaware of this, then you have probably never seen a pro-Christian post on Facebook. The comment and posting person are attacked with such ferocity that you would think they were promoting crack for babies.
However, despite your user’s ignorance and overall vicious nature, you can encourage them to create content for you and to do it with a fair amount of dignity. Allow them to sign up for accounts, administer all their posts, and let the users generate your content for free. There are times when your users are going to come up with ideas that you would have never thought of, and they are going to be useful to your users.
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