Fixing Micah’s Site

By Deane Barker on November 30, 2003

Two Selections from Seth Godin: I stumbled on this e-book over at Amazon. It’s a short, free, PDF from Seth Godin (Permission Marketing, Purple Cow) about an attempt to improve a specific Web site that sells CD duplication services.

Godin claims that too many designers just put up a site and never bother to carefully measure the results and tweak the site to improve the results. We need to be less like designers and more like all-around marketers. Putting up the site is just the first step.

In a nutshell, I believe that virtually all marketers (and we’re all marketers, aren’t we?)
are dropping the ball online. We’re getting better at the glamorous part — buying keywords and other sorts of media that get a person to our site the first time.

Then what happens?

What happens after someone shows up and visits that first page for the first time?

My guess is that you have no clue. My guess is that you can’t/don’t measure the outcomes of those visits as closely as you might, and that even if you do, you’re probably not altering the pages people see at first as often as you can.

What if you did?

One concept I especially appreciated was figuring out what a “success” is on your Web site. What has to happen for a certain interaction to be considered successful? Do you know? If you’re selling something right there, it’s easy — make a sale.

But what if you’re a real estate broker? Success for that kind of site is….getting someone to look at a page about a house? Getting them to contact you about a house? Getting them to come to an open house? Or, how about just getting someone who actually wants to buy a house to your site in the first place?

The point is a good one: know what your goal is, then figure out exactly how to measure your success at that goal. Measure it continually, make changes, then measure the effect of the changes.

(Although the PDF is technically 35 pages, it’s not really. Some pages have but one sentence. You can read through it in about four minutes.)