A properly developed and maintained, a website can be a great way to connect with your customers, open new markets and cut operating costs. In her Dec, 2008 article entitled, Need to Cut Costs? Improve the Website Experience, Megan Burns emphasizes consistent website monitoring to uncover usability issues http://www.in-depthresearch.com/pdf/Forrester-Research-Website-Usability-ROI.pdf. The result can be an increased return on your website investment. In these days of cost-cutting, having a website that works can help with customer service and sales issues.
Start by determining the labor costs of answering phones and emails. Examine the questions that you get and think about how costs could be reduced by using your website to its fullest potential.
Many folks tout the benefits of surveys to find out what people are thinking about online sites but web analytics is a no-cost tool that can also help here. Google has a free tool that will monitor your website; it provides you with a vast amount of information about how your visitors are reaching you. Are they landing on certain pages more than others? Are they finding you through your URL, through search engines or by your business name? What keywords are they using to find you? This is invaluable information to have as you make changes that will strengthen that connection between you and your customers, leading to a higher ROI for your website.
Even Expedia.com is not immune to usability issues. Just two years ago, they discovered that their bookings were down because people didn’t want to fill in the boxes to register. When they deleted the registration process, which served no real purpose, bookings went up.
There’s a big difference between failed attempts at trying to use a website and abandonment; that is people that want to do business with you vs. those that don’t even try. If they want to do business with you but can’t negotiate your site, rethink customer service strategies. By improving the site, you remove the barriers for doing business and increase your ROI.
For help with Google Analytics, call me and I’ll walk you through it. Elizabeth Parks firstname.lastname@example.org 307-766-5405