Five Updates You Need to Make to Your Back End User Interface

When customer feedback signals that your user interface needs to be more efficient and visually appealing, it’s time to look into updating it.

In this blog post, we targeted five areas to focus on when redesigning your online application.

Navigation


If your site is giving your users carpal tunnel, you need to reduce the amount of clicks it takes for them to reach frequently viewed pages. Include a main menu with clearly defined sections, and allow users to access it from any page on the site.

Search Filters


Don’t make your users scroll through long lists of information to find what they’re looking for. Improve your site’s efficiency by including search filters, not just a search bar. Give users multiple filter options to narrow down their results.

Consumer Control


Users are often more self-sufficient than companies give them credit for. If there is a simple way that your users can complete a task online, make it an option on your site. Consider how consumers purchase your products and services, request information, etc.

Simplified Page Structure


The text and design of your back end screens should be organized. Clearly mark links with the function they perform such as "Submit Your Request" or "Go Back to the Home Page." Finally, get feedback from your customers when they pilot the new site. Ask them the following questions:
  • Does the page structure makes sense?
  • Are links clear? 
  • Is the information on each page is organized correctly?  

Video Tutorials


Give your users an easy way to see how your site has been updated by creating tutorial videos. Your customers may not want to sit through a 30-minute demo on all the updates you made to your site. (Who does?) Instead, break the information down into multiple videos that each addresses a section of the site that has been updated.

It's also a good idea to give prospects a sneak peek at the updates you've made. Though they're not able to access the site yet, it's important to show that you have considered your current customers' needs and are continually looking for opportunities to improve their experience.


Our new user interface will launch April 29! To see how we've updated it, check out the video below.

Google AdWords: Are You Doing It Right?

You initially started using AdWords as an easy way to expand your online ad reach. But you soon discovered that what appeared to be a simple task became more challenging when you realized that you only had 130 visible characters  to entice an ad click. (That’s less than a tweet!)

With any given search, there are tons of ads competing for space. If you want to be competitive, you have to stand out. So how do you make your ad stand out?

Here are some recommendations from PPC Hero.

Choose Keywords Carefully


The keywords you use in your ad need to be relevant to a consumer's search and should match the terms potential customers would use to find your products or services. (To help you identify relevant keywords, we recommend using an online ad tracking solution like ClickPath.)

Make Your End Goal Clear


Your ad should reflect your conversion goal whether it is completing a sale or generating a lead. Include a strong call to action in your text that tells the customer what you want them to do once they click on your ad.

Build a Good Landing Page


When a potential customer clicks on your ad your landing page is their first impression of your business. If your landing page is bad, you are less likely to achieve your conversion goal. Your landing page should live up to the expectations generated by your ad.

Use the Available Settings to Your Advantage


The settings in AdWords allow you to specify when, where, how, how often and which of your ads are shown. Tailoring the settings to your needs instead of using the defaults should bring in more clicks and conversions.

You can find more tips and ideas on writing an effective AdWords ad here.

Cashing in on April Fools' Day


Yesterday, we saw several businesses take part in online pranks, from long-time participants (Google) to more recent contributors (the White House). Some pranks were a little bizarre (pizza-flavored Tic Tacs), while others left us wishing they were a reality (Sony's headphones for cats).

While surfing the Internet and spotting all the fake product releases on April 1 is entertaining for consumers, is it actually profitable for the companies that engage in all the tomfoolery?

The answer is yes.

April Fools’ Day is a golden opportunity for marketers to get free publicity, test new product offerings and set their brand apart.


Free Publicity


Think about how many articles were posted in major publications yesterday reiterating “The Best April Fools’ Day Online Pranks.” All that free publicity really adds up for businesses, which is why marketers are the ones behind the scenes coordinating and creating the elaborate content. For example, Google, who planned more than ten fake announcements on April 1, created a video, landing page and scent search results for Google Nose alone.

Testing Ground


Businesses such as Think Geek used April Fools’ Day to pilot some of its zanier ideas. A few years ago, Think Geek introduced Canned Unicorn Meat into its fake product lineup, and after receiving an overwhelming amount of feedback from its customers begging for the prank product to actually be offered, it obliged. The product sold out within weeks.

Branding


A parody is a great way to set your business apart from the competition. Even if your company doesn’t usually put on a humorous tone, participating in April Fools’ Day makes your brand more dynamic and allows you to connect with customers on a new level.

If you’ve never entered the realm of April Fools’ Day corporate gags and are worried about confusing your consumers, start small. Next year, use social media as an outlet to try out an obvious prank where humor is readily accepted and see if it improves your social reach.