Archive for November, 2008
I hope that everybody had a great Thanksgiving. I’ve spent the weekend broken down with the flu, which is the perfect time to lie around and think. This morning I was thinking about Google. In the last two months we have had 4 companies call us because their “free” listings disappeared. A couple of these companies dominate their category and had excellent listings under countless search queries to go along with rather hefty investments in Google PPC. The other two sites relied on “free” traffic only. These companies wanted us to use our connections at Google to “turn the switch” so that their listings would reappear.
We discovered that each company was out of synch with the Google webmaster rules in some way or another; but not in an egregious manner. In fact, these companies had been bending the rules for years. Why now I wondered? Was it just coincidental that these companies were nabbed right around the same time or was there; is there, a larger but hidden agenda?
Since 2002, we’ve been evangelists of marketing efficiency but not too many people wanted to listen. Why would they when there was so much low-hanging fruit? Every year an increasing number of people, flush with cash and credit, went online to shop. But those days are over and it really is time for companies to become more fully focused on efficient marketing.
My team of expert web designers and analysts have reached out to over 800 companies regarding providing a report that would include detailed, page by page analysis, of their site for the purpose of identifying anxiety inducing friction points, and other impediments, that cause abandonment of the shopping process.
Recommendations for site and conversion rate improvements were to be included in the report. To our surprise only two companies took us up on our offer (although several did attempt to learn as much as they could for free). Each of the companies we provided reports for have seen their conversion rates double.
Here is what Internet Retailer has to say about the importance of web site design based on good e-tail principles, and if you’d like, they’ve built a three day conference around it for you to attend: Web Design ’09 Conference
You may think your web store looks just great and you have a right to be proud of it. But did you ever sit with a focus group to see what problems they had with it? Did you ever have top web site designers analyze it to find flaws? And have you listened to e-retailers tell you how they’ve vastly improved online sales and conversion rates just by making basic design changes that eliminated the most common web site design faux pas?
Here are just 10 commonly known but often overlooked design mistakes referred to by Internet Retailer (we know of many more):
This had to happen as entrepreneurs seldom make effective CEO’s. The character assets that lead to entrepreneurial success become challenges in the CEO position. The entrepreneur tends to be impatient and a bit of a gambler. They seem to have short attention spans. The entrepreneurs I know always hungry for the thrill, the adrenaline rush, of another dramatic discovery and success.
In addition, Steve Ballmer shot Yang in the foot with these recent comments: “Look, we made an offer, we made another offer. It was clear that Yahoo didn’t want to sell the business to us, and we moved on. We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition,” he said. “I don’t know why they would be either, frankly.”
Search is on for successor; company’s stock has fallen in 17-month tenure
SAN FRANCISCO – Yahoo Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang is stepping down as chief executive, ending a rocky reign marked by his refusal to sell the Internet company to Microsoft Corp. for $47.5 billion — more than triple Yahoo’s current market value.
By Suzanne Choney
Online retailers are offering a mix of specials and sales this holiday season that may leave Web shoppers mixed up as to where, when and how to buy.
More than ever, shoppers need to pay attention to the fine print on the screen, and stay alert for deals that are changing daily and sometimes hourly. There may be great offers available because of the struggling economy, but if you blink — or don’t click — in time, you could miss out.
“I think retailers will be playing the price game sooner than in the past,” said Kurt Peters, editor-in-chief of Internet Retailer, a trade publication.
Indeed, that seems to be the case, despite the fact that Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, are considered the traditional starting points for holiday shopping. Many retailers’ Web sites have been filled with specials for several weeks now.
And, there’s already a fair amount of texting, Twittering and e-mails going on by retailers and shoppers about sales and bargains.
Social networking — be it through sites like Twitter or Facebook — is magnifying the season’s gift-a-thon more than ever before.
How Barack Obama used smart marketing investments to dominate his category and what you can learn from it
I apologize in advance for the brevity of this post but with the Holidays approaching we’re busy as can be. I do want to, at least, begin to probe the merits of the Obama campaign and attempt to link what the campaign managers did with your marketing endeavors if only to spark the prevailing “hunker down” thinking in a different direction.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I may be stretching for a metaphor but I think that what the Obama campaign did in red and swing states is worth examining. If you can imagine Obama, for the sake of this argument, as a beginning business and accept that he and his campaign (marketing) managers were faced with the challenge of creating and establishing a brand in an environment where a fair share of the market was hostile to not only the appearance of but the name and history of the product, then I believe you’ll see the through-line running from your business to his.