With the proliferation of smartphones, especially with teens, your website along with the other outposts of your online presence (Twitter, Facebook) is vital to getting traffic in your door. I did a tour of 7 fun center websites this morning, and had to stop and write this post. Assuming the holidays will free up a little time for you, here is a to-do list to fine-tune your online storefront.
- Website links—Broken links, or links that go to dead pages should be weened off your site. Especially check links to your Facebook and Twitter links—many I tried today were not linked. By the way, don’t invite visitors to tweet your page or info if you don’t have a Twitter account yourself. It’s an etiquette thing.
- Homepage—Unless you’re very strategic—Twitter, Facebook and offline efforts are pushing people to various landing or squeeze pages on your website so you can measure those platforms and messaging—your homepage is your main portal. Everything about this page needs to be fresh and focused on getting people to what they want to know about. I don’t want to see information in December about your Summer 2011 Rave Party (really.) Also, do the same for your Facebook Page.
- Contact info—You should have a contact page in your navigation because people are used to this. But you’re missing the boat if you don’t also have Twitter, Facebook and an email link on EVERY page, above the fold (above the fold means visible on the monitor without scrolling down or going “below the fold”)
- Mobile browsing—Visit your site on a few different phones (an iPhone and an Android phone.) What is the experience like? Do a spot survey—head to your fun center floor today and ask about 10 different people (adults & teens) if they access your FEC’s website on their phones. You may not need to do this in 2012, but eventually you should make the mobile experience on your website palatable. Mobile phones and tablets are only going to increase in sales and not staying on top of your online experience could hurt you in the long run.
If revamping your online experience is on your list for 2012 or soon after, please promise you’ll get at least three quotes on the changes you want to make. I’ve spoken to a few fun centers about online updating they want to do and prices they’ve been quoted and they are SO HIGH it almost seems like robbery! There are many third-party web solutions that shouldn’t bankrupt you…so many, that we often wonder if we should be offering these kinds of services ourselves (iaaoblog.com and amusementoperators.org are all built and managed by ourselves.)
What’s your most important online to-do item?