It’s a challenge to objectively examine your own website as if a prospect or customer seeking information would. There’s an approach you can follow to get ideas flowing though: Look at a direct competitor’s online presence, trying to shoot holes in it based on how a customer might view it.
You should really be able to get into it by answering a few questions:
- What misleading or out-of-date information is presented?
- What’s not compelling about the website?
- What’s confusing about the navigation?
- How much unnecessary detail do I have to supply to get a copy of the “free” download?
- What questions do I have that the website doesn’t answer?
- Do I know where to get my other questions answered?
- In what ways did I get smarter by browsing this website?
- In what ways were my information needs left wanting?
After doing this, go back and see how your own online presence compares. Looking at yourself from a customer perspective should now be much easier!
Editor’s Note: When you’re in a pinch (or without a research budget), you could also use this technique with employees (preferably new ones) for more than just web sites.
Mike Brown is an award-winning marketer and strategist with extensive experience in research, strategy, branding, and sponsorship marketing. He’s a frequent keynote presenter on innovation and authors Brainzooming!