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I was checking out a competitor’s website. On the home page was a special offer and below it  >Click here<, so I clicked and nothing happened! It was not a link. More ads came up, still not a link from >Click here<

So then I ran across the top tabs and found one that said “Order here”. I clicked on that and was presented with the usual form to fill in with all my details. After submitting that I was asked to “Please select a branch”. I selected Sandton, then the type of product that I was looking for. Now I was given a list of 3 different options. I chose one of them (the simplest) and guess what?

No products found which match your selection. Please CLICK HEREto select another Branch.

CLICK HERE did work this time, but took me right back to  “Please select a branch” so I had to go through the whole process again by telling the new branch what I was looking for. They didn’t have stock either.

So what was wrong? Was it possible that this company that had multiple branches throughout South Africa had no stock of the main product that they sold? No, surely not. What was wrong was that they had paid some organisation to build them a pretty website, but did not visit it frequently themselves with the eyes of a potential customer. They would soon have realised that it simply didn’t work.

What else goes wrong with websites? Have you ever shopped on line for something like an electic hob? Some websites that come up on Google actually take you to their page on hobs, but others, like my good service friends Hirsch’s, take you to their home page and leave you to battle on from there. Don’t you find that frustrating? It’s as if they weren’t “listening” to you in the first place.

And then those slides that whiz across the top of screen about every 4 seconds? Or the bright red New! or Special Offer! flashes that flick on and off about twice a second? They’re only there to make the web developer feel good.

The solution? Google your own product. Visit your own website. Try to think like a customer who’s never been there before. Is it an enjoyable experience for them? Does it project your corporate personality? Does it tell them what they want to know? Quickly? Easily? Does the Search work?

Should you wish to make an appointment, please feel free to visit Derek’s diary and book a time that suits you.



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