Improving website functionality
The functionality of a website describes the ways that it can provide content and tools that will benefit visitors to the site, or gives you advantages when managing it. This functionality can involve commonly accepted routines that online users expect, or it can involve new services that are only limited by imagination (or budgets!). For example, the ease of selecting and buying a product on e-commerce sites can reduce the number of failed sales, whilst the recognition of returning customers that can help to speed up repeat purchases is also important.
So what does your site need to do to provide a valuable service to users, and how can technology be used effectively to enhance the way the site works?
A search function on your website is essential if it contains a large number of pages or extensive content. You could also add a variety of tools to provide site users with services that solve their needs and will maintain the ‘stickiness’ of your site (its ability to attract users back, time after time). You can also add a secure zone for customers, whether to track their order progress or sales history, to access reports, or provide other unique services that create added value and can reduce offline administrative procedures.
Ways to enhance your website functionality
When you employ the Web Marketing Workshop to help develop your website, we will work with you to identify the opportunities to enhance the functionality of your site as part of your overall Internet marketing strategy, including:
- E-commerce processes: there can be a wide variety of options here, depending on the budgets available. However, any solution needs to be robust and efficient to avoid abandoned shopping carts. Returning customers would also expect a fast checkout option.
- Customer access areas: secure zones for customers or registered users can enable a wide range of services to be provided, from subscriber access to additional content, account details such as order tracking, or other customer service functions and reports.
- E-mail databases: if your site collects e-mail details for email marketing or CRM purposes and uses a database to segment and mail customers and prospects, these systems can be provided to comply with the latest e-mail regulations.
- News and PR management: you can enhance the currency of your site by adding news feed services that will be of interest to your market sector, or if you publish press releases on a regular basis, you can manage these online and add them to your site.
- Image management: if your website uses plenty of graphics, you can add an online management system to categorise and control the use of images on your site.
- Affiliate programs: e-commerce sites may want to run an affiliate marketing campaign and therefore, to control this in-house, you will need a reliable system to track and report on converted leads or sales, plus make payouts to affiliate partners.
- Content advertising: the main pay-per-click suppliers like Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing provide an advertising service that can be integrated into your website to display relevant adverts and enable you to share in the clickthrough revenues.
There are probably many more ways that your site could be used to provide services with unique functions that will keep customers and other visitors coming back. In most cases, systems will be available to do this and it is only needs the ideas to exceed the users’ expectations!
Contact us now to discuss your website development and how improved functionality could benefit the marketing of your business online to give you a competitive advantage. Alternatively, request our FREE marketing assessment to get some ideas of how your business can take another step forward on the Internet.