What a Consumer Wants

Graphic of Website Relaunch and Marketing Concerns

© iStockPhoto

Website Redesign and Relaunch, and Conversion Rates …

For some reason, this lyric popped into my head when I first read a couple of mornings back about new research from our technology partner HubSpot:

What a girl wants
What a girl needs
Whatever keeps me in your arms
~ What a Girl Wants, Christina Aguilera

(Things like that tend to happen after I’ve had my first cup of coffee for the day.)

Companies relaunch Websites precisely because they want to keep their customers in their “arms”—in this case, on their sites and using them for e-commerce, lead generation, news-article views and so on. Their old sites probably weren’t getting the job done, and their sales, leads or pageviews were suffering as a result.

Or just as likely: Their old Websites were mired in 2005 (or 1995), and they needed a new, modern look that also fulfills a business purpose (see paragraph above).

What consumers want and what they don’t want in a Website, and how that can help with your Website redesign and relaunch strategy … after the jump.

First of all, the data:

Graphic detailing Most Important Website Design Factors

© 2011, HubSpot

From this, I’ll give a few of HubSpot’s major takeaways:

  • Don’t obsess over the visual design of your Website
  • Do obsess over the usability by your customers and prospects
  • Don’t worry if you or the CEO think your website design does not look pretty
  • Do worry about the conversion rate of your Website
    • Are people finding what they need and completing their tasks?

When it comes to Website design, I’m in the “simple, easy to navigate, yet nice looking” camp. I’d much rather see a Web project’s budget go more towards content that’s well-written and geared towards your goals, as well as usability and especially search-engine optimization (SEO). I don’t want my clients’ customers not being able to use the site because it’s so flashy, Flashy (as in, Flash-based—many mobile devices can’t “see” Flash) and hard to use.

HubSpot also brought up a point with which I always agree: Keep it familiar. In other words, the new site’s design and usability should be similar to what people already use at other Websites. Don’t break the rules; they’re there for a reason.

Quite frankly, about the only time I want to see a “beautiful” Website that offers a cutting-edge interactive experience is at a Web designer’s main site. And even then, I want to see if that person can design the type of Website that the 76% of us want. I knew I was in the majority about that, but I didn’t realize I was in such a large group of people.

HubSpot also offers cautionary words about video or heavy graphics: Don’t use them, unless they help your customers achieve their goals. I’m down with that. I also think this is especially important with video, as there’s benefits in using it that go beyond product demonstrations, information summaries, and so on.

Probably the most important part of all of this is testing. Make sure your customers can do what they want with your site. This potentially means having customers test your site for you, and even go as far as to ask them to perform tasks without your help. Make sure your employees can use the site as well, and even use the same kind of testing procedures with them.

Chances are likely your company is spending a decent chunk of change in redesigning its Website. Make sure it can pull its weight in reaching your business goals. If it doesn’t, it might as well be “that guy” who stands around the coffee pot or water cooler all day long and does little work.

Original article: What Do 76% of Consumers Want From Your Website? [New Data]HubSpot

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