28 Jun 2006

Dave Child’s Conversion Tips & William Slawski Content Planning.

Dave Child just wrote a nice article called "Ten Ways To Improve Your Website Conversion Rate"

My favorite is #8….just today I was looking at one of my clients "suprise redesigns" where they actually thought it was a good idea to make someone get an account in order to view the store….doah!!!

8. Don’t Waste Time

One of the biggest mistakes sites make is asking for too much information. Your conversion process may be sale, or it may be a request for information. Either way, don’t waste the user’s time asking for things you don’t need to know. This is, of course, doubly important when it comes to asking for information the user deems private, and that they don’t want to give out without good reason.

You don’t need to demand the user’s email address before letting them download a PDF. You don’t need their phone number when they fill out an email enquiry form. A user may not want to buy from you twice – so why make them create an account so they can buy again later before processing their first order? You can give the user the option to do all of these things by all means, but make sure it’s not compulsory.

Read Dave’s other 9 great points on his post.

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On a related note, William Slawski also just published a "related" article called "Content Planning for Search Engine Optimization"

Bill’s got a lot of great info packed into this post…but here’s some great points Bill gives

    • What are the products or services offered on the site?
    • Is it selling goods or services directly online?
    • What are the strengths of the products or services to be presented?
    • What are the weaknesses of the products or services to be presented?
    • Are there opportunites envisioned in the sale of these goods and services that may not be met online presently?
    • Do any threats to the sale of goods and services exist? What are those?
    • If the site is intended to generate leads, is there a preference that people call, email, fill out forms, visit a location in person?
    • Are there any unique challenges to offering the goods or services or information, such as legal restrictions based upon age of visitor, distribution of goods, subject matter of the site, protection of visitors’ privacy rights, protection of trademarks (those associated with the organization and others), copyright of materials used, or others?
    • Are there some related goods offered by others? If so, what are they?
    • Are there some related services offered by others? If so, what are they?
    • Who are those others who offer similar goods or services online and offline, and what else do they do?
    • Have there been others who provided the site owners with online marketing services, and if so, what types of efforts did they make?

    Read Bill entire article here.

    also, have you heard that Neil Patel is a princess?

Comments

  1. Cary June 28, 2006 at 10:09 PM

    Good find Jim — online retailers that require you to set up an account BEFORE purchasing are one of my biggest pet-peeves.

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve left a site I was actually ready to purchase from, just so I could find one where it was easier to buy.

    This is one of those interface/process problems that is so obvious from a user standpoint that it’s hard to believe how many retailers don’t get it.

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  3. Vincent June 29, 2006 at 5:50 PM

    Good point Jim, ease of use is tantamount to running a successful site, especially if you are running an ecommerce set-up.
    One of my clients is in the fashion clothing industry and has one of the typical designer websites built entirely in flash, even the damn shop was built in flash and try ordering something… you have to run hoops. What made it worse is that he had an older clientele with no patience for bells and whistles…
    We redesigned and was still able to create a stylish fashion presence for him, implement some good accessibility techniques and SEO it, it worked real well, until he decided that before they purchased he wanted them to answer a few questions, a few too many… sometimes it’s about educating your clients, having to take the time and sit with them and explain why they can’t hold the buying process up. It’s a common complaint.
    I tell them once that credit card is out, get them to the checkout real fast, and while doing it give a ‘have you considered this as well?’ message.

    One of my pet hates is shopping only to find you run into major difficulties when chekcing out, slow server, too many boxes to fill in and a load of other stuff. It makes me suspicious and I don’t bother.

  4. Lea July 4, 2006 at 7:44 PM

    I had the interesting experience of a client who added a whole bunch of checkboxes – around 25 – that the visitor had to check before they were allowed to continue on to the next section.
    The difference was that this was a job application process for a business with a large turnover in casual workers.
    He wanted to filter out those who weren’t really keen.
    Still see heaps of apps through there, so obviously it doesn’t slow it down too much.
    Sort of a reverse situation. 🙂

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