This post is the fourth and last in the feedback series for now. All the websites submitted on time (by 26th of December) have gotten their feedback. I’ll continue with writing “normal” blog posts.
The first three in the critique series:
Yes, I did get a lot more that were submitted after the deadline. I will take them on some time later (don’t know when exactly). Keep an eye out.
Let’s look at the last batch
Goal:” more clicks on affiliate links the book link>
- Your home page is completely lacking any information about the site. No value proposition. I imagine you’re having a hard time retaining new visitors.
- All the information given in the video should be available in text as well, in a concise format.
- You’re asking them right away to log on with their social media account, but don’t give any reasons why they should do it.
- Add a call to action on top of the video on the home page. Try a different thumbnail, this one doesn’t say anything.
- On a book page, you’re giving way too many links to buying the book, resulting in paradox of choice. Why not just stick to 1 (Amazon) or 2 sources? I bet it will be a boost.
- I don’t feel you’re selling the book enough – you don’t make people WANT to buy the book. You’re just presenting the pitch written by the publisher, that’s it. You’re no match for Amazon in this regard, and hence I don’t really see a reason using your service, really. Add more value! Where are the personalized detailed, recommendations? Reviews? Testimonials? Opinions? Being just a huge catalog of books with affiliate links is not enough.
Goal:%C2%A0%C2%A0to” get people to join the email list.>
- Your headline is a description, it does not communicate a benefit or make a promise. Remedy that.
- I feel the social media buttons not only distract, but also serve as a negative social proof (hardly anyone has Liked or +1’d). Get rid of it. Also, why would people want to Like your page on Facebook? To show the world they’re losers and can’t get dates?
- “Download Your Free Ebook Now to Begin Your Dating Training”. Do people want to begin training or do they want to be able to woo women like Casanova? Provide information on what exactly will they learn and what will they be able to do once they read the e-book.
- “Improve your dating skills” and “increase your dating success” are very vague, and vague doesn’t sell. Be ultra specific.
- Remove the comment box. You don’t want the page to look like a blog post.
- I want to see proof that your stuff works. Where are the testimonials? Pictures of you with all the dates you’ve got?
- You would benefit immensely from a quality designer.
3. geotargeter.net (discontinued)
Goal: Sell the product.
- Your main headline is the name of the product, but it doesn’t tell anything to the user. Craft a benefit oriented headline.
- “A WordPress plugin” is a good start, but it’s way too little information. Write a full paragraph of text detailing what this plugin does, who is it for and why would one want it.
- The image is confusing. I had to read it and think about it for a while before I understood what your plugin does. I recommend start describing the problem, and then present the solution (your plugin).
- “Buy now” is a lousy call to action. “Add to cart” kicks its butt every single time, but there might be even a better one. Test the wording!
- I’d make the landing page a little longer, add more sales copy and another call to action to the bottom.
- Add testimonials or produce a demo of some kind.
Goal:” get people to sign up for the mailing list.>
- Give answers to these 3 questions within 3 seconds: Where am I? What can I do here? How is it useful to me?
- No value proposition. You’re starting off by talking about YOUR newsletter. Instead, start talking about them. Present a value proposition.
- You’re wasting precious space by repeating your logo that doesn’t add any value. Replace the graphics with a relevant image. Avoid cheesy stock photos.
- The email capture box in the content pages lacks a compelling offer. “Join us and get fit” doesn’t move anybody. Nobody can get fit by joining a newsletter. Instead, make a promise of something they’re interested in, and outline some of the key things they’re going to get once they join.
- The right lead magnet will make all the difference! You cannot know which magnet (the thing you’re offering them in exchange for their email) will work best, hence you need to test them. I’ve seen again and again the number of new subscribers increasing tenfold after using a new, improved magnet. Is the current one – “join our free newsletter” – the best possible offer you can make? I’m sure you can do better. Offer something that will make people wonder how the hell are you giving this away for free!
Goal:” get people to join the email list.>
It’s a nice site you got there.
- What is this site about? There’s only 33 gazillions marketing blogs out there, mention how you’re different or what’s your angle. Who is the site for? Your headline is about the video, but should be about the site.
- Don’t rely on the video to do the communication. Most people will not watch it. I strongly recommend testing the video against a shorter, let’s say 30-second version (strong evidence out there that overwhelming majority will not watch past that anyway).
- The site seems to be about you, so what’s with the “we”? You can build a better connection with your readers by being you, and not an unclear “we”. “We” doesn’t make you seem bigger or better, makes you impersonal.
- The “Get your free gift” box does not say anything about the gift itself or what are the 7 parts in question.
- Test your lead magnet. “Get the 7 …” is so overdone and it’s appeal is not what it used to be years ago – it’s effectiveness has dropped significantly. Don’t be a “me too”. Build an alternative lead magnet and test it against the current one.
Goal:” get the visitor to in touch with them.>
- There’s no value proposition. Present one?
- Where am I? What can I do here? How is it useful for me?
- Who are your services for?
- The menu is huge and creates paradox of choice. Are all the items in the menu equally important? Didn’t think so. So why do you present them as equal?
- You’re offering to download a company presentation in PowerPoint format. Are you kidding me? Your website and website alone should do the job.
- There’s no call to action.
- Clicking anywhere in the menu just shows me a bunch of logos that I even can’t click on. In addition, you’ve got a bunch of broken links.
You need a new website really bad. This one is not only ugly, but quite random and not built with conversions in mind.
Goal: To collect emails.
- Your headline sucks. Craft a better value proposition.
- There’s tons of service providers out there. How are you better or different?
- Readability is awful. Read this post on how to improve readability.
- Why should people give you their email address? Nobody wants to stay in the loop. Create an offer they can’t refuse. Right now a compelling offer is completely missing.
- Create a better, action-oriented call to action. ‘Submit’ is by far the worst you can do.
- What happens if they do give you their email? Tell them!
- Add a call to action to the video. Try a different video thumbnail.
- I would add a TON of more text to the site . Thoroughly explain what you offer and why that’s good. The best way to sell is to give enough information, so people can make a positive decision.
Goal:” get free trial sign ups.>
- Where is the value proposition? Don’t just sell covered calls, sell your service.
- How are you better or different from the competition?
- Not sure who you’re targeting with the site, but if it includes people who don’t know what a covered call is, you’re doing it wrong. The current website speaks to somebody well-versed in the subject.
- Show me proof that your stuff works. Testimonials, newspaper articles etc.
- This is a business where risk is involved. Beef up on all kinds of trust elements. You currently have none.
- The free trial calls to action are almost impossible to spot. Turn them into nice, visible buttons.
- “Want to try everything above for free? Good idea!” – don’t make a judgement like ‘good idea’ on behalf of the reader. It’s your business, of course you think it’s a good idea. Leave all the conclusions to the reader.
- You have some readability issues. Dark gray text on light gray background is not good. I would re-do the site with white background (lighter, more trustworthy), looks very grim right now. Colors can affect conversions, it would be an interesting split test.
- Out of the 3 options you offer, which one is used the most? Who is your MAIN target? I’m guessing it’s one of the first two, so make one of them the main choice. When you focus on a single action, the results are always better.
Goal:” get email subscribers.>
- Where am I? What can I do here? How is it useful to me? Before selling the newsletter, provide answers to those questions. I spent like 3 minutes on the site, but still couldn’t figure out what it’s about.
- Usability rule: make taking action easy. Make the subscription form visible immediately, don’t ask for an extra click.
- Design a proper sign-up form. Your current one is designless. Read this post.
- A rotating image slider is generally a bad idea for conversions. I’d stick with a single message to minimize distractions.
- I’d get rid of the buttons underneath the newsletter banners. They don’t provide social proof, and you don’t seem to be tracking their effectiveness anyway.
- Crazy paradox of choice: a trillion links, no link more important than others. Don’t do it. Especially bad is the long and unreadable list at the bottom of the home page. Radically improve readability.
- Forget about the layout of your current site, and think about the user flow. How should they ideally move around your site, towards the actions you want them to take? I don’t think any thought was put in this when designing this site. Design a desired user path, and tweak your site accordingly.
- When browsing the products, the desired action should be to get them to buy, yet your huge newsletter banner is severely distracting and hiding the content that actually matters. Use a different, narrower header for product pages (and skip the newsletter call to action).
Goal:” sign people up to use the services.>
- Mention which students you’re able to help.
- Improve readability: light gray and light blue text on white is very difficult to read. The headline font is also not reader-friendly. Use Arial or Georgia.
- You’re asking for the sale too soon. Nobody is ready to buy after reading 3 bullet points. Instead of “Getting started”, use “Take a tour” or something less frightening. They need much more information before signing up.
- Think about the user flow, and guide them through the process. Don’t ask for the sale before you’ve given them all the information they need.
- Show me proof your stuff works. Use photos and videos with testimonials.
- You do provide a money-back guarantee, but I’d show it off more. Whether your stuff actually works and provides the results they want is their main hesitations. Show your confidence by proudly stating your guarantee and offer a multitude of testimonials and case studies.
- Can you show essays before and after using your service?
Goal:%C2%A0convert” visitors into paying subscribers.>
- You’re starting off by vaguely describing what you are, but the you’re not providing adequate information on what the user can do here and why. Re-word the headline, make it benefit oriented.
- Elaborate on “better trading decisions”. It seems to be the only benefit you mention, yet it’s too vague.
- Who is it for? Mention it.
- Your hero shot (product image) is low quality and offer little value. Replace with a high quality readable image that gives people a glimpse of what they’re getting.
- You’re asking for the sale too soon. (Even though the call to action button is not working anyway). Only a repeat visitor who has done all the research would be able to buy at this stage. Instead, offer to take a tour or see a demo.
- Make the “As Featured In” and “Awards” logos links, so people could verify your claims. It’s all about building trust.
- Get rid of the “Which subscription service is right for your trading needs?” It’s totally out of place and makes no sense.
- Add photos and videos to testimonials.
- On your pricing page, you’re not emphasizing the different between packages enough. Make it more obvious.
- I found some broken images, not displayed. Such things diminish trust.
- Show me proof that your stuff works!
Honestly your site looks very 2001. Time for modernization.
Goal:” sell products.>
- It’s accessories for men, right? So why show picture of a boy?;) But seriously, you’re wasting too much space with that rather lousy image. Show the newest products, best deals and other extra special items on the homepage.
- There’s a gazillion stores selling the same stuff. How are you better or different? You’re selling commodities – other stores are selling the exact same stuff. If there’s no difference between you and other stores, customers will always go to the cheapest place. Communicate clearly what is the extra value you offer (e.g. Zappos sells the same shoes as everybody else, but does it better).
- In e-commerce product photos and videos are everything. A lot of the products only seem to have a single photo. Not good. Read these two posts: https://conversionxl.com/how-images-can-boost-your-conversion-rate/%C2%A0and%C2%A0
- Where’s the search? Around half the buyers already know what they want. Let them search for it and find it quickly.
Goal:%C2%A0get” people to call us.>
Note about your goal: People who surf the web often prefer to do it all over the web. I would definitely focus on online lead generation instead of getting a call.
- You have no value proposition, you only describe what you do. How are you better or different than
- “Welcome to …” is the most useless thing you can say. Don’t waste precious attention.
- Get rid of the moving flash banner. It’s distracting, takes the attention away from what really matters and doesn’t provide much value. On content pages people have to work to read the content they actually want as the banner is too huge and they need to scroll down. Mobile surfers are strongly on the rise anyway, and iPhone users can’t see it at all. Flash is dead. Get rid of it.
- Don’t start off by explaining your corporate structure, nobody cares. Talk about how you’re gonna help them get their carpet clean.
- The current newsletter subscription box doesn’t give much reason to join. Read” this post> to find out what to do with it.
- Testimonials without photos or videos are not believable.
- There is no call to action. You want people to call you, yet you don’t ask for it.
- Your online booking form is a monster. Nobody will fill it a form that long. You just need their contacts, and can get the rest over the phone when you call them.
- On service pages you have severe readability issues, like too long lines. Read” this post>.
Goal:” to cables.>
- I like the value proposition, but make the following paragraph bigger, shorter (both in terms of words and line length) and more visible. List the 3 different kind of cables you provide in a bullet point list for easier comprehension.
- Add a call to action to the bottom of the page, or show featured products, current deals or something along those lines.
- Add more trust and security elements to the site.
- On your product pages, mention the shipping fees, product warranty and return policy.
- Make a list of possible doubts and hesitation one could have about buying from you, and address those concerns.
- On further reading it dawned me – is that you only sell 4 different products? If so, I’d line the product vertically, and provide more information already on the home page. On product pages, don’t hide additional information in another tab, make it available immediately. Don’t make your customers work to get the information you want them to read. The more they read, the more likely they are to buy from you.
Goal:” sell products.>
- You make it difficult to find concise, clear information about you and what you offer. Don’t make people read too much.
- Your font size is way too small. Read about improving readability.
- On product pages, show the old, crossed out price next to the new price.
- Clicking on the logo should always take you back on the home page.
- Be more clear on your price guarantee promise right away.
- Make choosing the tires the focal point of the site, move them from the side to the middle (and perhaps join the middle part and the side into one block)
- Run any promotions? Show those items on the home page.
- Change “buy now” to “add to cart” or equivalent. Buy now always performs the worst.
- Many products don’t have any description at all. People can’t make a decision without information.
- Consider adding a ‘compare’ feature or filters of some kind that help people make decisions. I looked for tires suitable for my car, and got like 50 results. I would never go through those products one by one. Too many options = paradox of choice, and it’s easier to choose nothing.
Your site has a lot of potential, but the design is rather poor, outdated and suffers from bad usability. I strongly recommend a new one.
Goal:” sell products.>
It’s a very well made site.
- It’s pretty clear that it’s some sort of an online store, but for new visitors it’s still a good idea to explain your concept. State your value proposition. If you’d say something like “Basic household goods in 24 hours at your door”, that would make it clear to everyone.
- Do not force people to sign up in order to purchase, let them check out as a guest. They have to submit their contacts and shipping address anyway. You can store it and just send them an email “oh by the way, we created an account for you with the data you entered, and you can just log in the next time you come”. Much less friction.
- Use photos and videos with your testimonials.
- I would test the moving image slider vs a static image.
- Studies show that perpetual shopping cart increases conversions. Consider showing the contents of their shopping cart at all times along with the current sub-total.
- If you’re just getting started, having a live chat is a good idea to discover most common questions.
- Your product descriptions are too short. Having extensive information about the products would be one more advantage over a regular supermarket that provides little to no information about the products on the shelves.
Goal:” get people to join the mailing list.>
- Unique value proposition is missing. I think you should decrease the size of your logo in the header, and instead add more information
- Perception matters. The overall look’n’feel of your site (purple with stars) is more suitable for a glamour fashion or celebrity gossip site . You’re in the business of being an expert, so look the part. Stock market stuff is a serious business, and it’s all about trust.
- Specific sells, specific is convincing. “I learned how to make money with stocks” is very vague. “I made $xx,yyyy last 3 years” is specific.
- Your call to action is too vague and not benefit oriented. It also comes out of the blue with no introduction. I suggest you build a nice email capture box where you sell the opt-in.
- Add the email form fields onto the sidebar right away, skip the useless extra step. It’s losing you subscribers.
- The current salescopy on your form page is poor, and lacks a compelling headline.
- Add the email capture form below every blog post for increased exposure.
- Do you really need their first name? Consider cutting it.
Goal:” get visitors to request a quote.>
- Get rid of the nonsensical “professional, reliable, flexible..”. It’s meaningless jargon and you know it.
- Craft a unique value proposition. Why should they buy from you and not from anyone else?
- “The best translation agency and more …” – superlatives don’t work without proof. Who named you the best? “and more”? Remove that. This reflects poorly on your copywriting services. I think you need a copywriter to help you out;)
- There is no single action you’re leading your visitors towards. Add a clear, single call to action. Add it to the bottom of your home page.
- Shorten your quote request form, get rid of most of the optional fields. The goal is only to get the contacts of the prospect, nothing else. From there, you can call them and ask for the rest of the information. Make it a single column form.
- Make the submit button of the form bigger, and make the wording something more specific.
- Remove the social media buttons. They only serve as a negative social proof, and nobody but your employees will share just another business on social media.
- Add photos and videos to testimonials.
- Improve the readability of your site. Increase the font size, make it darker, shorten the lines.
You really need a new site. This one is poorly planned and has not been designed with usability or conversions in mind.
Goal: Request information on a point of sale system or request a free download.
- What is this site? What can I do here? How is it useful to me? Any visitor should get answers to these questions within 3 seconds.
- Present a unique value proposition. The current text you have above the video is a vague intro at best.
- Don’t mention the price before communicating value. You throw the $99/mo out there, but haven’t really explained what one gets for that.
- Don’t expect people to watch the video. All the information should be available without watching it. Oh, and add a call to action to play the video. Tell them why they should. And make the video bigger.
- Who’s it for?
- “Here is How We Do It” – and they you continue with something totally different. Your homepage should be one logical flow. You’d benefit from hiring a copywriter. You fail to make a connection between your POS systems and social media / SEO stuff. And computer repair? Right now it seems to be one huge mess.
- Get rid of those horrible, cheesy stock photos.
- Your call to action banner is not effective. You’re selling the demonstration before even explaining what it is really. And out of the blue you mention some software without giving a single hint what that is or why would one want it.
Your website is a poorly designed mess. If you want it to produce sales, get a new site right away.
Goal: To sell a product.
- Welcome to knee pain? No thanks. Get rid of the “welcome to” and craft a benefit oriented headline. You can still keep “arthritis knee pain” in the headline for SEO reasons.
- What’s your value proposition in a sentence or two? Why buy from you and not from somewhere else?
- There is no call to action. Get rid of the useless sharethis widget and add a single call to action instead.
- Your menu is massive, and no choice stands out. Nobody will go through all the options there and think where they should click. Make it obvious.
- I tried to find the products you’re selling, but couldn’t – and I really wanted to. That hurts your sales conversions more than anything else. If the products you want to sell are listed on the featured article http://www.arthritiskneepain.co.uk/arthritis_products.html, you’re doing it wrong.
- I’m assuming the 3 items you want to sell are the ones in the link above – but there is no sales copy. Give them tons and tons of information about each product. Nothing is more persuasive than adequate information. Learn some copywriting and follow these tips.
All in all I recommend you get a quality designer to help you out.
Goal:” to people request a quote.>
- Your headline is poor. You lack a unique value proposition: what do you offer, and why should I buy from you and not from the competition?
- Your home page looks more like a useless intro page than anything else. Expand your home page and add tons of useful content there about you and your services.
- Add photos and videos to testimonials to make them believable.
- Remove the Facebook likes. The number is so small it serves as negative proof (nobody likes you).
- Your translations button takes people immediately to the quote form. At this point they know nothing about your company or your services. It’s too soon to ask for a commitment. Combine several of your translation information pages into one, you ask for too many clicks. Same feedback for the language classes, but it’s even worse there. Who is it for, what exactly do you offer and so on. It’s a confusing mess right now. You require tons of attention and time from the reader to figure it all out, but I doubt people are willing to invest. You’re working hard to make doing business with you difficult.
- Improve the readability of your site. Your font is way too small.
Goal:%C2%A0to” complete a form asking for more information.>
- Where am I? What can I do here? How is it useful? Reduce the logo size, increase the value proposition part. Add more info about the site.
- Improve your readability. The text under “Destacados” is barely understandable. More contrast, larger font. Same for the course descriptions. Read this article.
- The top AdSense ads on category pages make finding the content people actually want more difficult. If you want them to request more info, make it easy to get to the form!
- Until you get much more traffic, remove the social media buttons.
- Specify what “more” information they will receive when they will the form. It’s very unclear what will happen if they do.
- Get rid of most of the fields on the forms. Province? Really? In order to send more info, you just need the name and email. Get rid of the captcha (or use honeypot captcha instead).
- Make the quote form submit button much larger, and improve the wording.
The general design is amazingly dull. You’re not making getting information attractive. You need to really sell the courses there, but you fail to do so. Get a quality user experience person to help you.
Next up: a summary post
Most of the problems and shortcomings on all of the websites were exactly the same. I’ll write them down and turn it into a checklist that will help you evaluate your own site.