Palmer Web Marketing Blog - eCommerce Blog PWM Products Justin Palmer Contact Justin Palmer at Palmer Web Marketing Free Internet Business e-books Palmer Web Marketing & E-Commerce Blog

Back to the Fundamentals of a Successful Website

by Justin Palmer - March 6th, 2010
These are all worthy causes. I’m going to suggest to you however that they aren’t the most fruitful pursuits. I’m going to suggest to you that we often bypass the quick-wins in favor of sexier options that we’re more familiar with.
If your email marketing program is entirely focused on determining that right moment to send an email for maximum impact, you’re wasting your time. Not because optimizing open-rates is stupid, but rather you should be asking, “what makes people want to open in the first place?)
Similarly, you could endlessly test colors, wording, and placement of your add to cart button in your shopping cart. You’ll probably inch up a bit in conversion. Yet fundamentally you haven’t added any value to the customer experience.
Resources are limited in every organization. Therefore we must always ask whether our optimization efforts are worth their opportunity cost. What else can we be doing that more effective?
I was recently reminded of this at C28. For years, customers have been telling us to show the pictures of clothing on real people, rather than manequins. For years we ignored the advice due to the impactical task of always having models on stand-bye when new products arrive. In the meantime we optimized the heck out of everything we knew how. We starting hitting the point of diminishing returns. All those a/b tests weren’t as effective as they used to be.
Then we decided to do the obvious. We actually listened to our customers and starting photographing all products on models. And the results? Let’s just say it was the single most effective optimization task we have ever done to the website. It wasn’t technical. It didn’t take an online marketing specialist, just a bit of old-fashioned listening to the customer.
You and me are online marketing junkies. We eat, sleep, and breathe conversion rates, CTRs, SEO, and SMO. Yet are we missing the obvious? What are the fundamental roadblocks preventing you from growing your business? I’m guessing it’s not the wrong color on a button, or an email newsletter being sent at the wrong time. It’s probably something far more fundamental and easy to fix. Take some time this week and revisit the basics.

Any at given moment, we’re bombarded with internet marketing and website optimization advice. We’re told to simultaneously be marketing on Facebook, Twitter, email and more. We know we need to be testing and optimizing our sites to the max.

These are all worthy endeavors. But I’m going to suggest that they aren’t always the most fruitful pursuits. I think we often bypass more obvious quick-wins in favor of sexier projects that we get excited about.

I was recently reminded of this at C28. For years, customers have been telling us to show the pictures of clothing on real people, rather than mannequins. For years we ignored the advice due to the impractical task of always having models on standby when new products arrived. So instead we optimized the heck out of everything we knew how. We overhauled the design of the site. We built a new and improved shopping cart. We ran incessant split tests on our marketing emails. But we started hitting a point of diminishing returns. All those a/b tests weren’t as effective as they used to be.

Then we decided to do the obvious. We actually listened to our customers and starting photographing all products on models. And the results? Let’s just say it was the single most effective optimization project we have ever done to the website. It wasn’t technical. It didn’t take an online marketing specialist, just a bit of old-fashioned listening to the customer.

You and me are online marketing junkies. We eat, sleep, and breathe conversion rates, CTRs, SEO, and SMO. Yet are we missing the obvious? What are the roadblocks preventing you from growing your business? You can have a flawless checkout process and fastest loading pages in the world, but if your basic product information is lacking, what’s the point?

Before you begin that next optimization project, take some time and revsit the fundamentals of your business.


Related Posts:

3 Responses to “Back to the Fundamentals of a Successful Website” by Justin Palmer

  1. Web Application Development Delhi Says:

    Hi Justin, I found your blog through linkedin and agreed to your point of traditional and old methods of Lead Generation Methods.

    Infact, there is no point in achieving the ranking on top position untill you have a wonderful product.

  2. Ryan VanDenabeele Says:

    That’s what we did. As clients what they look for in a property management company. This is what we got. http://pcmgonline.com/2010/04/12/property-management-services/

    Great article about simple effective marketing.
    Cheers.

  3. 4 Reasons your Product Pages Don’t Convert Says:

    [...] a lot of work to get this type of photography on your site. But as I recently shared my experience C28’s lifestyle images, it can be earth-shatterly [...]


Blog Updates
RSS Twitter