I am always amazed at how many people build websites without the end user in mind. They don’t think about who the person is that visits the site or what they do when they get there. I speak to so many affiliate marketers that have 20 products on each page and they wonder why they don’t sell anything. Their theory is usually that if the person doesn’t see what they are looking for they will eventually see something they like and will click on to the merchants page and find what they are looking for and buy it. I call this HOPE marketing and it usually doesn’t work well.
Something happened a few years back where affiliates thought tools like popshops or Shareasale’s make a page would make great pages. They do make great pages but you have to add content to the page and not list 20 products. The affiliates that make the most money are ones that show one or two at the most products and either write a review or an explanation of how the product will benefit the end user. When someone lands on a site that has 20 products they become confused and either click off or end up in a browsing mode and don’t buy anything.
Being an affiliate manager I can see what sites make money and which ones end up being failures and abandoned when the affiliate no longer maintains a site. I can also see when the affiliate just quits and blames affiliate marketing doesn’t work and is never heard from again. The affiliate may make some money building these sites but all it takes in one Google algorithm change and the affiliate site gets dropped. Since the page is nothing but a bunch of products no one is ever going to link to it so it never has a chance to rank long term.
Where Does The End User Click
If you have Google analytics installed you can get a good sense of what is going on with your site. After logging into analytics choose your website and go to Content >In Page Analytics. Your site will pop up on the right and you can see what people are clicking on. Little orange boxes will appear above the link with a number of clicks in percentage and you can get a good idea of what people are clicking on. Even better than that though is you can see what people are not clicking on and eliminate that link on your page or rearrange your site so that link is lower on the page.A focused page will always before better than one with hope.
This very good but it doesn’t serve you with the best info. I would also like to know what people are hovering over. Lets just say that the ad you see for Paramount might be taking the users eyes away from your intent for the user. You would never know it. But using a service that Sugarrae uses called CrazyEgg you would be able to see that people were trying to click on the picture and couldn’t because it wasn’t a click-able link. Go read Sugarrae’s post and come back. It will be much clearer as she explains it very well.
Most websites I see do not tell the end user where to go. They assume that the user will find what they are looking for. If you noticed I said assume and hope in the same article. Not exactly words that help build your website the best it can be.
As I was preparing for the screenshot I noticed something about my own site. 34% of the people that were reading my site were clicking on a link that took them back to the homepage even though they were already on the homepage. Now I have to figure out why.