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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Search Engine Strategies New YorkI really enjoyed listening to Michael Sack, Director, SEM technology & Development, Idearc Media Corp. His speech started out asking, why is milk in the back of the supermarket? The answer.. It’s one product people come into the store to buy and frequently. What happens in a store? The experience is orchestrated. The flow of the store is scientific. Placement of product is tested. What people see and when they see it has a direct impact on what people buy.

What happens online? Homepages can be information overkill. Too many links over 50 on this page. Confusing navigation…doesn’t match the experience in the store. Home pages are one of the worst ideas….imagine walking into the store and all the products are shoved in front of you. How would you get into the supermarket to find what you came for?

Online is a marketers dream…If you know mike is walking in the store and that mike is more likely to buy if the milk is in aisle 6…then put the milk in aisle 6. What can you do online? You can put the milk anywhere at anytime.

Web allows us to use virtual doorways….thousands of doorways into your website…they are using search phrases to find your virtual doorways. Use a/b testing to find out what works! Connect specific searches to specific landing pages. Test where you land visitors and what they see constantly.

Next up is Howard Kaplan, COO, Future Now Inc.. He has the entire room stand up. He tells us this is all the people that have come into your website. He has 1/4th of the room site down. This 25% they weren’t looking for you or your products. Don’t worry about them. He has another 1/4th of the room sit down. They didn’t like something. That’s ok. Don’t worry about them. Let them go. He has the half the room still standing and tells half of them to site. This 25% you lost for no good reason. You used bad vocabulary. You didn’t answer their questions. Something. Which means you still have 25% of your customers that should be converting.

The secret to versions, it’s not about you. You cannot control it. It’s about a choice your visitors make. They decide to click or not click. It’s a decision. The only thing you can do is understand who your customers are and give them what they are looking for.

Where to test first…

Your top 5 high bounce rate pages

Your top 5 high exist rate pages

Your top 5 Lowest time spent page

Your top 5 Key pages check out cart registration

His top 5 tips are:

1. Product images tell a story

2. Test your headlines and copy

3. Test Forms and point of actions

4. Test Add to cart buttons and more

5. Don’t make them wait for images

by: Shawna Seigel

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