What drives repeat visitors to your website?
Publishing on the web is often characterized as a leap into the unknown.
People involved in traditional media, such as newspapers, magazines and
television, are sometimes considered unsuitable to design websites. The
assumption behind all this is that the technical aspects of web publishing
make it entirely unique. That's why, in many companies large and small,
the person in charge of the intranet hails from a technical, rather than
a marketing background. Interestingly, some new research from Forrester
Research shows that this approach to web publishing is doomed to failure.
What do customers want from your web site?
There are, of course, many new aspects to web publishing, but these
are almost exclusively user interface issues. The underlying issue—what
do customers want, and how can we get them back?—is the same no matter
how you publish information. An answer to this question is provided
by some recent work by Forrester Research Inc. Forrester interviewed
8.600 web-using households to find out why people return to websites.
Cutting-edge technology? Games? Chat and BBS? Customizable content?
No. High-quality content was key, closely followed by ease of use.
A plot of their results is shown below.
The two top-rated items—content and ease of use—leads inevitably
to the suggestion that the much-trumpeted New Media is simply old
media in new bottles. The "new bottle" in this metaphor is the user
interface: the structure and layout of your website, the presentation
of information and the way the site is tuned to meet customer needs.
So to get our customers to revisit, we need good content based on
the skills learnt by people working in "Old Media"; but now presented
according to solid usability principles.
Recommend this page