No, my friend argued triumphantly, there are only three events right now. And then the light went on in my head. Mission Critical’s homepage does include a box that lists the three soonest upcoming events, but that box includes a hyperlink that directs traffic to a more complete listing. Without following the hyperlink, a reader might think we only published details about three events.
As the “proprietor” of the page, I thought I should explore this disconnect. After all, there really is no point to maintaining an events page if readers don’t know about it. At first, I thought I should check the site metrics to see how many visitors use the calendar of events. Then I realized that Mission Critical would be better served if I took a closer look at the site first. Beginning with the knowledge that at least one reader couldn’t easily find our events listing and by assuming he wasn’t unique, I could generate fresh ideas to make the idea more usable and build traffic.
I later learned that my timing is perfect, as our Internet department informed me that we would soon be undergoing a website redesign and would be asking for ideas. So what did I see? Well, our current site emphasizes content that appeared in our most recent print edition. That’s ok so far as it goes because the print edition is an important part of what we do, but it also means that the casual browser has to look hard-too hard I think-to find links to web-only or extended content. The events listing page is just one example.
Further down the page and justifiably given some prominence is a video spotlight, a department in which we present video culled from the industry. Some of these videos can also be found on YouTube or other sites, but I filmed many of them live on site at industry events myself. These are available only on the Mission Critical site. Clicking on the video spotlight hyperlink will bring you to a more extensive library.
The New Products section is located just across the page. It, too, includes a link to a page that includes many more products, where they are described in greater detail. The navigation bar to the left of the page is key to unlocking many more treasures on the site. The navigation bar includes links to an extensive white paper library, a buyers guide, archived webinars, career center, and mission critical education program.
In upcoming months, I’ll be presenting more information about our website redesign, and I’ll be asking for content ideas as well. For now, though, as “proprietor” of the site, I just want to tell the story about many of the features we already offer.