What’s Your Web Site Trying to Do?

As you're reading this, I'm on my annual Christmas pilgrimage to Branson, MO.  As many times as we've been there, we've never gone to the Andy Williams Christmas Show.  Before we left, I decided to check it out on the web.  There's a web site with information on all of the different shows that the theater offers throughout the year.  In fact, there's a separate page for each show.  Here's part of the page for the Christmas show.  What you're seeing is just under half of the page.

Andy_williams

Here's the thing.  What's the point of this page?  I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that it's probably to sell tickets.  What's the least prominent thing on the whole page?  It should be easy since I circled it.  SELLING TICKETS!  There is no reason for this page to exist except to get people to buy tickets.  So why is the "Buy Tickets Now" link so gosh-darned small?  It should be the biggest thing on the page.

This is where a lot of businesses get into trouble on the web.  You pay a high-priced web designer to do the page for you.  He or she creates a thing of beauty.  The colors are great.  The pictures jump off the screen.  There's audio and video, java scripts and flashing lights, but the potential customer can't figure out how to do business with you.  It's like having a retail store where the customers can't find the cash register.

BUY_TICKETS_NOW
The heck with aesthetics, Williams' page should have a giant red button that says "BUY TICKETS NOW!"  Pretty?  No.  Effective?  Yes.

The bottom line is this.  If you're going to have a web page, before it goes live have a real person look at it.  Is it easy to navigate.  Does it give the important information like store hours, address, phone number, and all the other things your potential customer is looking for.  Most important, if you want the customer to take action, make it so easy that a cave man can do it.

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