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Bad Domain – More often than not, entrepreneurs choose a name that doesna€™t pass the Domain Test. Slow Load Time – If your page takes more than a second or two to load, you may want to consider purchasing faster or more reliable hosting. Distracting animations, jarring videos, or obnoxiously loud sounds are automatically queued on page load. Disproportionate Copy to Graphics Ratio – Each site will be different, but you should find your own happy medium between text and pictures. No Newsletter Signup – Building a newsletter database can prove invaluable after a year or two of aggregating user information. Missing Contact Information – If youa€™re a business that wants people to call or email, put your email address and phone number in the top right corner of your website and in its footer. Failure to Track Metrics – Google Analytics is free and is the industry benchmark for gauging quantity and quality of user traffic. No Clear Business Description – Can a user determine what your business does within a second of landing on your homepage?
Not Mobile Friendly – Ita€™s no secret that a€?more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computersa€¦a€? Optimizing your site for mobile users is no longer an option. Making sure your website is appropriately optimized is just one tactic in the long term strategy for growth. Montreala€™s a€?Newell Furniturea€? Launches Online Furniture Shopping Portal Gainesville, Virginiaa€™s – Easy Dental Care – Partners With a€?Quality Dental Plana€? Canbank Venture Capital Fund picks up stake in Bioneeds India Bengaluru INDIA Make Free Trials Work for Your Business Take Advantage of Pinterest Promoted Pins To Drive Ecommerce Sales The Investiture of Tamika Montgomery-Reeves Can You Delay Gratification?
Your website is the primary point of contact with your event and is your most important marketing tool. If you care about selling more tickets, attracting exhibitors and bringing in sponsorship then you need to have your eye on your most important marketing tool: your event website.
Do you have a website that will attract attendees and compel them to invest their time and money in your event? The loser’s website is sloppy, unattractive and most people won’t waste their time reading the content. There is nothing inherently wrong with this cookie-cutter approach, especially if you have found a formula that works. The functional website has really got to grips with the fundamentals of good website design. The functional website will certainly be adaptive, meaning it will look good on all screen sizes and devices. The social website taps into the fundamental human need to communicate and connect with others. The social website includes lots of ways for people to participate and makes it easy for people to like, follow and interact.
The social website is constantly talking to its visitors, pushing out fresh content by way of news, tweets and a blog. A word of warning: If you decide to create a social website you must be prepared to invest the time and energy into keeping the social buzz alive. Last week I found myself sitting at my desk trying to decide whether to spend $1800 on a conference ticket. Chip and Dan Heath in their book “Made to Stick” outline a series of principles for having creating “sticky” content. Simple yet unexpected: You need to create a simple message that conveys the essential reason why people should attend your event.

Placing too many large images on a single page could also prove problematic for mobile users to load quickly. When a user is startled by a noise or video it breaks their concentration and experience on your site.
Would you purchase a service or product from someone that didna€™t take the time to spell check their most important marketing piece? When therea€™s copious broken links on a landing page or employees listed on the website that are no longer with the company, it starts to raise red flags to the user. Some sites only have pictures, but this route doesna€™t make sense when youa€™re selling options on blue chip stocks.
If youa€™d just like to give customers a potential outlet to contact you, make sure the contact link is placed in a visible place. Dona€™t wait until you need these statistics for research or to prove to advertisers that your site attracts attention. Dona€™t let users fall by the wayside by making them guess what their next step is to engage in your services or buy your product. If youa€™re unsure about just how unfriendly your site is to mobile devices, try Googlea€™s Mobile-Friendly Test. While a website can be your largest calling card, lead-engine, and marketing tool, remember that you still need to sell, advertise and market outside your site.
Until the day that your event actually starts, your website is the face of your event and is the primary place that most people will go to when they need information. In fact, research has shown that people make up their mind as to the quality of a website within the first twentieth of a second of hitting the landing page. For organizations with a captive audience or where your attendees don’t actually want change, a familiar website can be comforting and reassuring.
This is a modern website which will often take a minimalist approach, using simple pages and lots of white space in conjunction with a single eye-catching image. There will be a prominent ‘register here’ button and a very straight-forward online registration process.
One of the top reasons people attend events is networking so anything you can do before, during and after the event with your website to improve networking is going to add value. It will often show who is attending and provide an online community portal where attendees, sponsors and exhibitors can meet each other. The social website makes use of the fact that your attendees are your biggest champions and uses the power of the social web as a marketing tool. The social website requires constant attending to because if the community is there but no-one is talking then the outcome is counter-productive. On the day of the early-bird deadline I visited the event website at least 10 times trying to decide whether to hit the ‘register here’ button. They assert that to create great content you need to hit the following notes: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions and stories. You have mere seconds to capture your usera€™s attention before they navigate away from your site. This is usually the result of a confusing spelling, too general of a name, or domain hacks that are too convoluted. Users would rather read about the service or what you have to offer rather than looking at a page full of pictures of people shaking hands.
If youa€™re a local brick-and-mortar business trying to tap into a community market, therea€™s no more certain death sentence than hiding your address and phone number from your prospects.

Set it up from the start of your business and check in on it from time-to-time to make sure your sales funnel is working. Try testing your landing pages and your homepage on your friends and family to see if they can determine what youa€™re selling as soon as the page loads. Therea€™s a high correlation between customers deciding to buy from a company and their engagement across multiple touchpoints: newsletter, social media, blog commenting, conferences, customer service exchange, etc.
Your website is your eyes, ears and mouth and your attendees, sponsors and exhibitors will be judging your event on the basis of your website. Literally in the blink of an eye, your potential attendees have made a decision as to whether they like your website and by implication whether they are interested in your event.
This may feature a picture of the new destination city and updated event details but in terms of layout and content will be pretty much the same as all the years that have gone before. The site will be supported with good event planning technology and is efficient, up-to-date and easy to use.
However, the social website takes this one step further by creating an environment in which your attendees, sponsors and exhibitors feel like part of something bigger.
It may even provide rewards (such as lower registration fees or community recognition) for the most activate members of the community. Creating a sell-out website takes time, creativity and intellectual effort because what is required is not just powerful graphics and solid functionality, you also need to have great content. If youa€™re a startup looking to correct a bad domain with an entirely new name, check out Morgana€™s guide to buying domains for startups, and mine that goes into detail about the negotiation process.
Therea€™s nothing worse than having 10 tabs open and trying to figure out which one of them is playing a booming video in a quiet meeting room.
Oppositely, if youa€™re running a stock photo site, dona€™t write about how great the site is on the landing page, show them. And if you didna€™t design your site with a sales funnel in mind, you have a much bigger problem.
If youa€™re utilizing Google Analytics, a high bounce rate is a strong indicator that this could be a problem.
Dona€™t rely on single channel passive marketing to produce all of your business, but recognize how powerful of a tool your website can be in your marketing stack. The emphasis is on clarity and making it easy for people to find the information they need in the shortest possible time. I couldn’t connect the dots of how they were going to deliver to me the education and connections I was looking for. Regardless of the company, if you meet your users with a straight wall of text, theya€™re not going to try and decipher its meaning.
It didn’t convince me it could deliver value and with some reluctance I eventually closed my browser without registering. Was the event going to be worth the $4000 investment (including hotel and travel) or would it be a disappointment?

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