The Secret to a Successful Web Site
It should have such incredible perceived value that your visitors want to bookmark it
By Denny Hatch
When I travel, I like to bring my laptop so I can check e-mail and read English-language newspapers online. To do that, of course, I need the right phone jack for the country I'm visiting.
Recently I went to Spain. Before I left, I visited the Web site for the Magellan's catalog, clicked on "Info Center," scrolled down the country guides list to Spain and found that Spanish telephones are accessible with the RJ-11 adapter used in the United States. Terrific! No order needed from Magellan's for that trip.
Later, I checked the site again before I made trips to the U.K. and Switzerland. This time, I found that each country required distinctive telephone adapters. So I ordered the items from Magellan's. Time spent on this search and ordering process? Maybe seven minutes.
What triggered this column was receipt of the TravelSmith catalog. I played "What if?" If I were going to Spain, would TravelSmith help me like Magellan's did? I went to the TravelSmith site and clicked on "Free Travel Resources." I was linked to State Department Travel Information where I found a ton of data about Spain, its history, people, economy, U.S. embassy personnel directory and more.
I didn't find any phone adapter or electrical connections information, but plenty else, including downloadable passport renewal forms (which I needed, and were not available on Magellan's site).
Conclusion of this exercise:
I bookmarked both TravelSmith and Magellan's. Before embarking on any foreign trip, I plan to log onto both for information, ideas and — very likely — stuff to buy.
And that's the secret to devising a successful Web site: It should have such incredible perceived value that your visitors want to bookmark it. People will feel good about your company if you give them something of value.