Jane Flexes Blog Muscle
Jane Says Hello from the Netherlands

5 Elements Jane Wishes All Websites Had

It's Tuesday. I'm somewhere buried in piles of boxes...trying to find the bedding so I can go lie down! Moving is not for wimps!

I have, however, planned ahead. Today seemed a good day to delve into the parts of a Web site that are most crucial to your success, not only in attracting Jane, but in attracting anyone. See which ones you can pat yourself on the back over, and which ones you need to call in the troops for.

1. Good navigation and usability. Your web visitors should be able to get from page to page of your site in 3 clicks or less. This used to be good advice, it is now an industry standard. Sites that have dozens or hundreds of pages, and don't post their main navigation links on every page, risk the chance of losing their customer as she moves deeper into the site. A good way to accomplish easy navigation is to leave bread crumbs.

Usability is another thing, altogether. Not everyone who accesses the Internet can use a mouse, or read 10 point text (wish we could make the text on our blogs bigger or a different font), or has a broadband Internet connection. Get with the program...test your usability. Make it easy for us to buy, or we'll click out of your site in a heartbeat.

2. Graphics. The Web is a visual medium. It really is necessary to design with the visually impaired in mind. Clear, sharp graphics that download quickly, are a must. Colors count. Visit Color Matters and learn how colors influence the human brain, and how colors are regarded in different countries. A poor color scheme to your Web site can give visitors the blinks...as in, "I can't believe what I'm seeing!" This will not induce any of them to buy what you're selling.

3. Testimonials. If you do not have honest opinions from current customers, ask some colleagues from your working days to comment on your site, your products, and your services. Ask if you can use their comments on your site. Ideally, you should have at least one testimonial on every page. Start with at least one, on the homepage, and gather more as you increase business. Testimonials work. They are honest statements from clients or customers, and prospects trust them better than testimonials from professionals...although those are not bad to have, also! A combination of both will build a strong, trusted image of you and your company.

4. An "About Us" page. Don't make your about us page stuffy and full of educational mumbo-jumbo. Mention the masters degrees and PhDs if they are relevant. Otherwise, leave them off. Show your expertise by addressing the customer's needs, not tooting your own horn! Have casual pictures...unless you're in a stuffy financial company that insists on the suit and tie thing. Most people want to do business with someone down to earth. Someone who understands their lifestyle. If you're too far above your customers, they won't feel comfortable doing business with you. Be friendly.

5. Good writing. It's to be assumed you built a Web site to attract customers. Your homepage should have an eye-grabbing headline: "Look Dick! See Jane! See Jane Dominate E-commerce!" Followed closely by, Dickless Marketing: Smart Marketing to Women Online. In a glance, this tells the visitor what Dickless Marketing is...it cues them to what they will find on the site, advice on marketing to women who shop online. There is an icon of the DM book, with a 'buy' or 'try' button just below it. The 'try' button opens a PDF of the table of contents, the introduction, and the preface. A little introductory information to get the reader interested in the entire book. Meanwhile, the rest of the homepage has the beginning of an article on women, or women's issues, 6 headlines from this blog, and links to other relevant marketing articles. All designed to share information on marketing to women online.

These 5 elements are just the beginning. Jane needs to see what you have, to relate to the way you sell, and to need your products or services. On the web, it's expected that Jane did a search to find you, or you were recommended by a friend, and she is already aware of what you sell. To actually get her to buy, you have to prove you're trustworthy [testimonials], helpful [good customer service], and don't get strung up on returns...better yet, that she can buy online but return--if necessary--offline.
What's not to like about that?


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