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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Bryan Eisenberg on Websites That Stink (in a Good Way)

By Robert Gorell
April 23rd, 2008

Is it really such a bad thing to have a website that stinks?

In the second and final installment of Bryan’s interview with Ralph Wilson — recorded at February’s Search Engine Strategies conference in London — the two shift their focus from personas (as discussed in Part 1) to improving landing page conversion by creating better “scent” for the visitor.

In the video, Bryan talks about a study conducted by usability guru Jared Spool that shows, among other things, that…

  • When visitors found the “trigger words” — keywords that either get stuck in their heads, either consciously or subconsciously, often from advertising — on the landing page they’re sent to, they were content with what they found a whopping 72% of the time.
  • When these same visitors didn’t see their trigger words on the landing pages they found, their search was only successful 6% of the time.


(If video doesn’t load, click here.)

Despite all the heady research that analyzes how people actually search for — and find — things on the Internet, it’s so obvious that it’s almost funny: We sniff around for relevant info like animals on the hunt. We go where the scent takes us. If we find what we’re looking for, great. Game over. If not, we retreat to home base, regroup and go out on a slightly more refined path until we see it in the corner of our eye. Then we pounce.

. .

Want Bryan’s advice on how to make your website stink (in a good way)? Meet him at FutureNow’s Call to Action seminar on June 3rd in Manhattan.

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Comments (35)

  1. Excellent concept, I love the idea of Scent on how users are searching through our websites. I’m curious as to how to find the trigger keywords that our customers are using. I do understand that it would be easier if we had an ecommerce website and someone was searching for a model number. But how do you do this if you in an industry such as insurance?

    Thanks,

    BJ

  2. BJ,

    Great question. Actually, each website — B2B or B2C and regardless of industry — should have its own scent trails for visitors.

    Scent is NOT for e-commerce alone. In fact, there’s often more opportunity to establish scent with B2B websites because the personas (visitor types) you’re trying to attract have their own unique trigger words. So what you do is plan what we call Persuasion Scenarios from the search level, through the landing page, through the lead form — assuming the insurance site’s goal is lead-generation.

    Again, that would be the same process for ANY website; B2B, B2C, non-profit or otherwise. This is a planning methodology and is not confined by a given industry.

    That said, if your insurance website has better scent than the competition, you’re more likely to stand out from the pack and convert well above the industry average. ;)

  3. Embed Video to Boost Search Engine Rankings…

    We all know that Google can’t "read" or "see" content within videos, so there’s no way to gain search engine rankings from video, Right? Or is there…
    Anyone who uses Google Analytics knows that Google measures the…

  4. [...] landing page can contain and expand upon the content your advertisement had, giving a strong information scent to [...]

  5. [...] landing page can contain and expand upon the content your advertisement had, giving a strong information scent to [...]

  6. [...] landing page can contain and expand upon the content your advertisement had, giving a strong information scent to [...]

  7. [...] A landing page can contain and expand upon the content your advertisement had, giving a strong information scent to [...]

  8. [...] pages and take screenshots of the whole entire experience. You can’t imagine how often the experience from keyword to ad to landing page is broken. I want to call them and yell at them to subscribe to OnTarget. I don’t do it. Instead a few [...]

  9. [...] When I fall off the wagon, every so often, I’ll go ahead and pick a keyphrase and start clicking through PPC ads and their landing pages and take screenshots of the whole entire experience. You can’t imagine how often the experience… [...]

  10. This technique has worked very well for me. On the websites where they have been implemented I get a very high time-on-site metric combined with great conversion rate.

    As a videographer I have an advantage with the technology but any developer could do this with a little assistance.

    Video on a website is a very effective tool.

  11. I’d never considered “smelly” websites before but I suppose I will now. The addition of a video aimed at the target market seems a good one to involve surfers and I’ll probabaly add one.

  12. How can I make my website smell minty-fresh? Sorry, that was unkind. I really do get it, the hunters (surfers) are after the rabbit, and if there is no sign of the rabbit on my landing page their off ina another direction.

    Time to “bait” the field…

  13. [...] Our search on Google started with the term “polo shirts” but provided us with an ad for “Polo Shirts for Man.” I guess women must never search for “polo shirts” even though LandsEnd sells women’s polo shirts on the site. The ad copy talks about the variety of fabrics and colors and LandsEnd does a good job of providing scent from the ad to the landing page. [...]

  14. [...] What are their expectations? Given your visitors’ traffic source and keywords, what are they looking for?  What would they most expect to find when they land on your website?  What scent are they following? [...]

  15. [...] landing page can contain and expand upon the content your advertisement had, giving a strong information scent to [...]

  16. [...] those terms will land. The ads that work the best are those that have a dedicated landing page to keep a strong sense of scent. And, as we’ve seen, nothing works less well than an ad that drops you off on a completely [...]

  17. [...] Ongoing visual and text assurances that they’ve come to the right place to find their solution – i.e., provide good scent. [...]

  18. I’ll have to find those trigger words that will lead the searchers to the scent of salvation or eternal security. That’s what I deal with.

  19. Great article . It was also interesting to know how fee comments have explained about video. I should also try putting a video on my site.

  20. Thanks For Informatiosn In your site…Is very Useful For Me…

  21. I should also try putting a video on my site.I guess women must never search for “polo shirts” even though LandsEnd sells women’s polo shirts on the site.

  22. The addition of a video aimed at the target market seems a good one. Great article .

  23. What is so bad of it? I wish I had websites that are #1 in google hehe

  24. Thanks For information webmaster!

  25. The addition of a video aimed at the target market seems a good one. Great article .

  26. Scenarios from the search level, through the landing page, through the lead form assuming the insurance site’s goal is lead-generation.

  27. landing page can contain and expand upon the content your advertisement had, giving a strong information scent to..

  28. I’d never considered “smelly” websites before but I suppose I will now. The addition of a video aimed at the target market

  29. We all know that Google can’t “read” or “see” content within videos, so there’s no way to gain search engine rankings from video

  30. Great question. Actually, each website — B2B or B2C and regardless of industry — should have its own scent trails for visitors.

  31. Very interesting concept but could you go into more detail about this process for finding trigger words, Persuasion Scenarios? Doesn’t seem like this ‘stink’ concept will carry you very far without the right scent to lay down. Copywriters have a staple collection of trigger words, but from what you described here (or was described in the video) these common triggers are just the start of what you need to make the right scent.

  32. Same stuff reiterated from what you read everywhere else… but i guess i cant talk b/c his blog seems to be much stronger than mine so iono i might start reading it i guess i just didn’t like the packaging… dont need all those buzz words. answer peoples exceptions to the sale and make sure your providing them a good user experience, easy to say hard to do

    argue with me on twitter im @cartercole

  33. [...] But, if you expect users to scroll below the fold, you’d better make sure the page has good scent so they know that relevant content awaits them if they do use their scroll [...]

  34. [...] [...]

  35. [...] What are their expectations? Given your visitors’ traffic source and keywords, what are they looking for? What would they most expect to find when they land on your website? What scent are they following? [...]

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