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By Cindy Penchina

They walked in the door, now make them take their coats off. Many companies invest in advertising, marketing and search engine optimization, only to have prospects arrive at a confusing website and abandon their efforts. Here are ten tips that will lead your prospects to the information they seek and increase conversion:

One: Carry Your Marketing Messages to your Web Site. If using different designers for your web site and other marketing materials, communication is key to ensure your brand and key messages are cohesive and fully supported. Your web site is part of your overall marketing initiatives and should not “stand alone.” A consistent message across all mediums builds confidence and trust in business prospects. The web site is a powerful way to reinforce your other marketing and sales efforts and a tool to ultimately help sign that new client.

Two: Greet Visitors at the Door. When a visitor arrives at your web site, you have only seconds to make an impression and convince them to stay. A new visitor should immediately know where you are, who you are and what you do. A good tagline or short introductory message can help give users a quick and succinct sense of the products or services you provide.

Three: Know Your Visitors and Guide Them Well A good web site is constructed with the visitor in mind. You may have more than one type of audience and you should build your navigation around how they may use your site. For example, you may sell a service that you promote on your site, but you also may be using your site to recruit qualified employees. Organize the content on your site to suit each type of user by creating paths that direct them appropriately.

Navigation – Simplify and Organize Including a large number of links on the home page makes it difficult to find particular information. If your site is large, simplify the navigation by organizing your content into larger categories that you then can subcategorize. This helps guide users along a path of interest to them.

You can also create multiple menus, organized by function and place them on the page in different areas. For example, create one menu across the top of the page for “Contact Us,” About Us and Home, and a separate menu along the side of the page for the services or products you provide.

Five: Speak your Visitors Language Avoid using industry jargon or “cute” names for your navigation menu items. In order to help your visitors find what they are looking for, use button names that are clear and understandable.

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Cindy Penchina is the Principal and Executive E-Services Director for Hudson Fusion.
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