Author Avatar Web Disasters IX – User Importance

by Webnme2 on Mar 20th 2010

AVOID DISASTER – MAKE THE USER IMPORTANT

1. Personalize

If at all possible, personalize the web experience of your visitors. Amazon.com has done a great job of offering of tailored buying suggestions, personalized offers, and the opportunity to share personal views on products. This helps to build customer loyalty.

2. Engage

Allow visitors to engage in communication. There are lots of ways to do this. Support forums are excellent. Comment and feedback forms are great. Asking visitor opinions, if not overdone, is also good. Gmail is doing a great job of this with their mail website. Users are encouraged to make suggestions and many suggestions are adopted. Visitors are also afforded the opportunity to share the experience by recommending friends for free e-mail accounts. This open channel of communication that allows your visitors to be your best marketers is invaluable.

3. Recognize

If you are selling or running auctions, take a page out of the eBay book. Sellers and buyers get recognition through a scheme of feedback points. As the user accumulates points, the users identity gains a star and with more points the stars change colors. This also works well on forums where frequent contributors are recognized for the number of posts and where other members can vote on their value. Everyone likes recognition. If you can work that into your website, you’ll do much better.

4. Reward

Website traffic is critical and return visits are highly sought after. But what are you doing to reward visitors that visit frequently? Is there any recognition of loyalty on your website? A simple script that places text on the page to thank a visitor for five visits ten visits, etc. can do wonders. Special offers (with real price reductions and not some hokey scheme) based on loyalty points are also a good way to encourage return visits.

About Webnme2

The author's first experience with computers was with Fortran IV. Wow that's ancient. After graduate school, he taught history for a number of years at a community college before becoming an attorney. In 1997 he changed careers to become a web developer/designer with an interest in all things web related. He currently maintains several dozen websites. This is his personal blog. The opinions expressed are his own.

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