Websites have become the new storefront. Every year, more and more product and service transactions are completed over the internet. With this increase comes the need for functional and visually appealing websites.
The tactics that web design and marketing organizations have taken over the past decade have varied with trends. For a while, the emphasis was placed on having creative, visually appealing websites using platforms such as Flash. These sites were slick and cutting-edge, demonstrating that the company was in-tune with the latest and greatest technologies. All too often, however, this approach affected the usability and functionality of the website across the board. Different browsers handled Flash differently (if at all), and the hardware requirements to actually view it properly were often too steep for large amounts of the visitor base. Perhaps the greatest factor of all was the fact that the websites were not laid out logically, and often sacrificed functionality in the name of style and vanity.
The success of that website can and should be tracked. Think about this: Virtually every product (tangible and intangible) ever created and sold has been tested in some way to ensure its success. If your company’s reputation and even a fraction of its success rely on its presence on the internet, you should definitely make sure that website is doing what it should! One of the best ways to do this is to track who is visiting your site and how they are using it. Using tools such as Google Analytics, you can not only view these usage statistics, but also manipulate and present them in a way that you can determine what improvements you can make to your website in order to increase your traffic.
The common misconception is that a web design project is complete after it has been implemented and has gone live. The reality is that it is an ongoing process. Something that may have worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. This is why usage should constantly be tracked and analyzed. The internet is always changing, as is how people use it. Logically, this usage should be monitored so you can act on it immediately. Even if you are not literally selling a service or product, you are still presenting or “selling” an idea or information via your website.