We all know that online tools are one of the highest hit places on your site, provide some of the best engagement and some of the best opportunities for lead generation. Why then, do so many of us post our tools and forget about them? Here I've put together a quick "Online Tools Health Check" that will help you assess your existing online tools and identify the areas that you should probably be working on.
Are your tools mobile friendly?
At Rich Media, about 18% of our visitors are using mobile devices and most of these people are visiting during work hours. If your tools don't support mobile devices you're likely upsetting a sizable portion of your client base and potentially losing business. Sorry folks, that means those Flash tools need to be rebuilt quickly!
Do you have widget versions of your tools for content marketing?
Tools dramatically increase engagement and lead generation. Leveraging existing tools into simpler widgets is an easy way to increase your ROI across all future content marketing initiatives.
Is your tool visual?
Images and graphics have been used in marketing since the dawn of advertising and tools should not be treated any differently. Icons make tools easier to use and provide a visual roadmap of where to go next. Images of people make the tool friendlier, more memorable, more personal and allow you to target key demographics and life-stages. Finally graphs and infographics provide a quick and easy way to understand the most complex data.
Do your tools include video?
Video increases time spent on a page, social sharing, SEO and user engagement. Complex topics can be explained with a clear visual story.
Are your tools accessible?
Accessibility is no longer just a nice thing to do - it is the law. In Canada, WCAG 2.0 Level A went into effect in January 2014. This means that all your new tools need to be compatible with a screen reader, have appropriate colour contrast ratios and meet all of the other requirements of the new guidelines.
Do you have an advisor/rep version of the tool?
Leverage your tools for your advisor or sales team. Provide customizable print reports with your advisor's contact information and help gain acceptance by providing advanced features or additional training for these "power users".
As a bonus, consider dressing up tools with live feeds, rates, fun facts, helpful tips, social sharing, custom print reports and export functionality. And don't forget, make your online tools sharable with social links to boost their usage for even more clicks and views.