Task Marketing Brings You Web Success

    June 5, 2006

The best websites know that customers are ready for action. They help customers complete common tasks quickly and easily.

Nobody ever comes to your website “looking for information”. This stands next to “our website is for everybody” as something a professional web manager should never, ever say.

People come to your website with clear tasks they wish to complete. They want to find that grant application form. They want to book that flight. They want to know if they qualify for this pension. They want to find an expert in design engineering.

Great web management starts off with allowing the most important customers complete their most important tasks as quickly and simply as possible. Poor web management plays politics by giving a little of the homepage to every department. Poor web management tries to answer every question-and all it ends up doing is answering every question really badly.

You don’t need an online advertising strategy. It’s not nearly enough to get attention on the Web. The essence of the Web is about action. It’s a conversion/action strategy you need.

I know lots of organizations that will invest heavily in online advertising but will hardly spend a cent on what happens when the customer clicks on the ad. When searching for “camcorder” on Google one of the ads says “cheap digital camcorders”. Clicking on the ad brings me to a Pixmania promotions page for camcorders. Unless I go on to buy a camcorder, that advertising is a waste of money.

At least the Pixmania webpage I arrived at is ready for action. Right in front of me are a selection of cheap camcorders. I click on another ad for camcorders and I come to a webpage by Club-IT called “Top Sellers Today”. The first screen offers me the following products: DVD+RW Jewel Case 10 Pack USB 2.0 MP3 Player + FM Radio USB2/host Powered Digital Terrestrial Freeview TV Receiver Wireless Headphones for iPod

Why advertise camcorders and then bring people to a page that has little or nothing to do with camcorders? If there’s one thing we know about people on the Web today it’s that they’re hugely impatient. In the convenience society the ultimate marketing sin is to waste a customer’s time. If you waste your customers’ time then you’re wasting your money because they’ll just Back-button you.

Is your website being Back-buttoned? Have you got high percentages of single page views? How many people start a task on your website and then bail out? You need to know these things.

Identify the top three customer groups for your website. Identify the three most important tasks that are most important for each group. (You’ll probably find that some tasks are the same for each customer group.) Track these tasks and relentlessly focus on making them easier and faster to complete.

Find the courage and the support to ignore everything else until task completion is the best it possibly can be for each of these tasks. Do this and you will delight your most important customers and you will delight senior management too.

If you haven’t already signed up for Google Analytics, please do. It’s a great free metrics service, and just one of the things it lets you do is track task completion for common tasks.

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For your web content management solution, contact Gerry McGovern http://www.gerrymcgovern.com

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