2014 is about more than just digital marketing for me. As well as having a 3 month old son I've signed up for the Megavalanche! The Megawhat?
It's a mountain bike endurance downhill race series and the most famous round, which I've entered, is in the French ski resort of Alpe D'Huez at the beginning of July.
It starts on the glaciated summit of Pic Blanc at 3300m and ends in the quaint village of Allemont at 700m. The course is 30km long and hopefully I'll finish it in less than an hour. The best guys do it just over 40 minutes!
You can read more about the race here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megavalanche.
So why have I felt the need to tell you all this?
Two reasons. Firstly, if you're trying to contact me at lunchtimes you'll find me either at Fitness First or pounding the miles on my bike!
Secondly (and the clue is in the fact that I gave you the Wiki link above first) the website representing the event is absolutely terrible. It's a lesson in how not to arrange your website if you actually want people to be able to easily sign up and pay for something. It's almost as though they want the challenge to begin as soon you've decided you want to sign up.
Oh, and did I tell you that 2000 people entered this race in 2013?!
I have one simple rule when it comes to web usability: make it easy.
You can check out their website here: http://www.megavalanche.com/. Good luck finding the sign-up process...
When planning the website, careful thought needs to be put into website navigation, starting with defining precisely what it is you want your visitors to do.
Once the website is live, it's not a case of job done.
You should be monitoring how people navigate through your site, looking for evidence of dead ends and drop outs.
You should use A/B testing tools to try alternative landing page layouts to continuously improve the customer experience and, most importantly, generate more conversions.
For those of you thinking, "But I don't sell anything...", remember that your conversions might be downloads, video plays, sign-ups or a simple phone call from a new customer. This is not relevant just for e-commerce businesses.
So, remember: make it easy. After all, the easier the process, the happier your customers will be.
If you'd like to have a laugh then checkout this 2 minute video summary of the race!