The real cost of outdated websites

Whilst I was in Bangalore I was looking for a HSBC ATM to withdraw some cash from, so I hopped onto the HSBC website (below), used the ATM finder and drove to the nearest ATM location. Here ends the good news. I spent 30 minutes and a little too much frustration looking for the ATM before I finally called the HSBC call center, who (after a few minutes of hold music) informed me that there were no ATMs in ITPL – and that the website was wrong!

Snapshot of HSBC India Online Branch Locator

I’m not entirely sure whats worse. The fact that I wasted so much time driving around and looking for the ATM (which didn’t exist), or the fact that I don’t trust the branch/atm finder service.

Rather than helping, having an outdated website causes customer frustration, and creates the wrong impression of your brand. If you can’t provide up-to-date or correct information, You’re probably better off not providing the information at all. If you’re compelled to put something online, at the very least specify the date the information was published/last-updated, so your readers have some idea as to how current & reliable it is.

If you’re building a website, keep in mind your ability to maintain it with fresh, or at least current & relevant information. If you have to maintain an existing website, and don’t have enough internal resource – or can’t get support from other departments, consider cutting back on the size of your website. It’s better to direct your customers to a fresh, well maintained, relevant but small website – than a big site, with minimal or outdated information.

Helicopter landing pad

The 7 key elements of a good Landing Page

By now the importance of good Landing Pages should have been drummed into every good web designer. They’re not a mystery, the anatomy of Landing Pages has been dissected repeatedly by many competent authorities. Whilst most of the analysis have the same common elements, I’d still recommended reading through a few of them – if anything to get a breadth of knowledge and a better understanding of how best to construct specific elements.

fuzebox landing page with numbers highlighting key sections

I recently stumbled across this FuzeBox landing page, and one element stood out like a sore thumb. I couldn’t believe the number of landing pages that had omitted it. The basic elements are all present:

  1. Navigation – Reduced navigation, preferably nil, to prevent people clicking away
  2. Bold headlines – Clearly answering your question, or stating why you’re still reading
  3. Bullet point content with headers – we don’t want to lose you in fluff, here are the essential points
  4. The best picture we have – so you know what you’re buying
  5. Clearly visible (above the fold) contact us form – so we can get your details
  6. A submit button – that doesn’t say submit but instead holds the promise of something more
  7. and FINALLY – the telephone number, so you can call them right NOW if you actually want to

The number of websites & landing pages I’ve reached when sourcing a product that don’t have contact numbers is incredible. I want something now. I want to call you to buy it. I don’t want to fill out your form.  Don’t lose a prospective inquiry just because you’re supposed to have “some-annoying-form” filled up. Your telephone leads are just as important (if not more so), and need to monitored & managed just as carefully. You could even consider adding a telephone CTA/offer in the body of your content!

Do you have your contact number boldly visible on your landing pages?
Are you tracking your telephone leads?



LinkedIN People

HowTo get 500 LinkedIN contacts quick

I recently started using the LinkedIN plugin for Outlook. At first I just enjoyed having profile pictures load, it’s an easier way to identify with whoever you’re communicating with. Then I noticed how much easier the social plugin had made it for me to connect with my contacts! Within a few weeks the number of contacts I had n LinkedIn had gone bonkers. Not random people, real people that I knew. It’s surprising how many people you actually communicate with, and it’s far better to connect to them on LinkedIN than random people.

There’s a social plugin tool for gmail / google hosted domains too. Whatever your email solution is, a LinkedIn social plugin is a must. It’s the easiest way I’ve found of keeping on top of connecting with my contacts on LinkedIn.