Everybody knows what they need to do in order to fix their Web site, they just don't do it, according to Jim Sterne, consultant, author and head of the Web Analytics Association. Sterne -- one of the most entertaining yet informative speakers I've yet seen at an event like Ad:tech, offered his top 5 ways to get "back to basics," ranging from usability issues to simple common sense:
1. Make it easy to find. Customers know they have pain, they don't know as much as you do about your industry, and they don't want to know. What they really want is to find a way to ease their pain.
2. Make navigation comprehendible. All the best advertising in the world is useless if you don't help people find what they're looking for when they get to your site.
3. Make it viewable to all. The goal should not be to have the "coolest" site in the world, but to have the site that is best designed for its purpose -- usually to help convert visitors to buyers.
4. Make data live. The power of the Internet is real-time inventory, interaction, and processes. A Web site is not a library, but a collection of verbs -- a place where people come to do things.
5. Make customers part of your site. All advertising has one objective -- to cause more interaction between a business and a consumer.
According to Sterne, all the rules for improving your online presence boil down to one simple rule -- think about what you're doing from the customers' perspective.