What’s your bounce rate?
Do you know?
Do you care?
Recently myself and my Palindrome have been home hunting in the Smelly Onion (Chicago) and a bit of wind would have been welcomed. Our agent is funny and knowledgeable. He also isn’t into wasting time and keeps to a packed viewing schedule for us. Being Choleric workoholic’s we love this! Speed home shopping! Ding! Next! However he has taken eco-friendly vehicles to the nth degree… no air conditioning! Normally not an issue, but in humid 90 degree weather stuck in downtown traffic… arrrgh! From all the places we looked at in Chicago neighborhoods from River North to Streeterville I was struck by 1 simple concept.
What Is Your Visitors Take Away?
You need to put yourself in your visitors shoes.
Are YOU making them search?
We saw so many spaces, that without floor layout handouts they all were one and the same to our tired over heated brains. As I related this experience to websites, I wondered what ELC-SEO client visitors were remembering from the actual website. What was their initial impression leading to choosing our client over other competitors? Bookmarks are the “handout” of the Internet world. And like paper handouts bookmarks quickly find their way to the bottom of the pile of every other bookmark – quickly forgotten. With this in mind I wanted to do a random test to see if I could up the conversion for a client based on initial impression. First impressions are everything, especially on the Internet. If you don’t have what a visitor wants at first glance… bounce… on to the next website. SEO optimizing was all for nothing.
I’m a big fan of the Mom | Dad | Grand Parents | any other non-web savvy individual (no offense to Mom’s, Dad’s & Grand Parents – I did not coin the term, I’m just guilty of using it) test. So I sat my darling Mother down and tried the following test:
I opened 10 competitor’s website front page’s in concurrent tabs within my FireFox browser (If you don’t use it I highly recommend you get it). I then opened the SEO optimized client website I was testing against the competitor’s websites. I did not tell her that Phoenix Proto was my client. I did tell her to say what she disliked about every website.
I asked my Mother to find a specific user search need on each page. Any long tail keyword will do. I encourage you to go a bit more sophisticated and definitely check your website’s analytics for visitor keyword phrases. If anything this exercise will make you more aware of what your visitors are looking for and not finding.
In this instance I asked her to tell me if she knew the site was about “Aluminum Tooling“. Which BTW is # 4 on Google and happens to be our client Phoenix Proto who does Aluminum Tooling. Another shameless plug… Phoenix Proto is currently doing 63% of all new customers from their website. Their sales team better step it up, we are providing the analytic leads… 🙂
I gave her 1 minute on each tab before she got the final tab which was my SEO optimization clients website. I asked her to tell me what her impression of the website was after looking at it and what she remembered.
Luckily I got the results I was after in regard to my client Phoenix Proto. My Mother, bless her sole does not understand manufacturing of plastic products. She likes them. She’s glad to have them. But it was clearly a blind test. Her being able to tell me that she saw the words “Aluminum tooling” within 60 seconds was great.
This wasn’t a very scientific test. I basically wanted a reality check from your least Internet savvy visitor. What would they remember that would make your SEO optimized website stand out and make them a customer. So what did my Mom test find?
Not too busy, and clear to the least Internet savvy.
No surprises! I am not going to give all the website’s used nor am I going to give all my results. I’m also not going to comment on my clients competitors websites. Electronic Logic Concept associates often run various tests for SEO purposes. However, unless the client explicitly agrees to a “Success Story” white paper study we keep all client data confidential. If a client wants to participate in a “Success Story” or white paper study only information authorized by the client is used.
My Mom preferred websites that were clean, and had the keywords immediately available right on the top telling her what the site was about. She also liked the ability to find out more information about the given keywords. Using Phoenix Proto as an example she remembered the site from the bright colors.
Page excerpts. She liked to read an excerpt of the page before she clicked on it.
Loved the lowest possible price. She HATES sites that don’t give a price range and will not even bother inquire about price. She only asks if she cannot find the item / service elsewhere and that seller looks very questionable.
She liked the options at the top. No searching, she could see what the best offer was.
She liked the “cool” factor from seeing others who used the services. In this case if was building a prototype for the concept Camaro used in Transformers the movie.
I didn’t learn any earth quaking info from this exercise. However the Phoenix Proto account is one of our full service accounts. If I had found any issues… an associate or 2 would be hearing about it come Monday morning. What I did learn and I hope you learned is that:
“It is not about us or you!“.
What we think people will search for or understand once they reach your site is very subjective.
What I had was a reminder. “People First”. I can bring your website to the top 10 of your search phrase with SEO techniques. However, unless I take your information and give you quality copywriting (SEO optimized of course) those visitors will bounce right off your website.
What we all need to remember is the “Why & What”.
- Why is your visitor clicking on your website?
- What is your visitor looking for?
- What is your competitor not telling them?
I can guarantee you that if you do the “MOM” test you will find out why your website might not be converting visitors into customers *. You will also find the “Why & What” your visitors want.
* The “Mom” test not a all-inclusive test, you might need a professional to diagnosis and fix the underlying issues. Depending upon your actual business, several different demographic factors will be involved in finding your website conversion issues.
Photo Credit: Flickr – Tall Chris