I had an interesting chat with a family member about something the company they works for had recently done with a website redesign. First of all – I was blown away when I was told what they paid for the site (over 100k). My designers could have build a much better site for 1/3 of what they paid, but that is not the issue here. They created a site without talking to any marketers, or sales guys or people who do online marketing for a living. His company left it into the hands and discretion of web designers. I do not want to get into the debate about web designers not being Internet marketers on this post, but these guys had really taken this company for a ride. You do not see me telling my designers how to code something, so please stick to what you are good at.
Well it has been several months since the new design was launched and all of the higher ups are wondering why the site is not bringing in any sales, and what is wrong. I mean – surely after spending over 100k on a website design, its gonna make some sales right? WRONG! Whoever was in charge of the design (some CEO or CIO – non Internet marketer) was worried about the time people spent on the site and wanting to increase it. In the talks with the website designers, they wanted to create a site that would keep people on so they could see people visiting the site longer in the stats and what not. That idea in it self is not a bad idea, but its how they executed that decision was.
How to poorly execute:
The website designer (with the help of someone in the company that didn’t know what they were doing online) decided to make the users have to click at least 9 times before they ever saw a price. I really don’t need to go on from here, and I am hoping you see what they did wrong without me having to point it out. Ok, I am going to point it out anyway – what kind of idiot designs a site, or lets a site be designed that requires 9 clicks (at least) before you can figure out the price? I’ll tell you what kind of a person – an idiot that has no business making decisions that involve the Internet.
It is statistically proven (with case studies I have done too) that if the user has to click more then 3 times to get into the shopping cart – let alone figure out what the price is, they will click away 80% of the time. I can’t even begin to imagine what 9 clicks does to a bounce rate. I can see why these higher ups that just spent over 100k on a website design were worried when the site was not making any sales, or providing any leads.
When are companies going to learn to consult with Internet marketers, sales guys and people who know what it really takes to convert a sale before they go off making 100k decisions that related to business done online? Just a side note, to really make you cringe even more – none of the URLs were search engine friendly and it was built on a dynamic platform with a bunch of unfriendly characters in the URLs.
The lesson that should be learned here:
If you have big decisions to make when it comes to web site design, take the time to talk with a real Internet marketer, and don’t leave the decisions up to the web designer or a person in your company that has never done an ounce of Internet marketing.
What you will get in return:
- You will understand what it takes to build a web site that is sticky, but still converts well.
- You will understand where you need to make pricing available.
- You will also understand why it is important to create search engine friendly URLs using keywords that are specific to the page and how that will help increase your conversion rate.
Think about it this way –
Lets say someone types in a keyword in Google, and they end up going to your site. Once they are on your site, they have to search on the page for the product they just searched for, then they have to keep looking to see where on your website that product is (clicking over and over and over). How many of you guys are going to be patient enough to click 9 times (like the story I was telling you above) just to find the information you are looking for? Probably not to many – you are just going to move onto the next result. If they have to click around more then 3 times you will lose 80% of your customers. You want the search engines to know which keywords are associated with the most relevant pages on your website so when users click on the result, they go right to the page that has that specific product on it. Talking to an Internet marketer BEFORE the website is designed can help you learn how that is done.
I really am amazed that some companies are so stubborn to think they know all of the right choices when it comes to online marketing, without having to consult with professionals that know what they are doing. Hopefully these guys will learn a lesson and think harder next time before wasting so much money, and giving one person so much power. Internet marketing is not getting any easier and it does not even compare to how marketing is done offline. I have had some great chats with some amazing multi-million dollar players in the offline marketing game like Stephen Covey and Greg Link whose jaws hit the floor when they start to learn about online marketing. These guys are smart enough to know what they are good at, and where they need help. If this post can help even one company think twice before just setting a web designer lose, or giving all the power to someone unfamiliar with Internet marketing then my purpose for writing has been accomplished!