Thursday, March 01, 2007

Good Advice 

This article on web metrics provides good advice in that it avoids a single metric and looks at what happens. It is also against conventional wisdom. Marketers want a single set of numbers that apply to everyone, much like cost per thousand for traditional print advertising. People don't work in one way, however, and web sites don't flow the same way either. Each site is unique and hence, the user's experience will vary uniquely. What this means is that marketers need to examine carefully what users do when they come to a site -- how they enter, use and leave it. Only then can one refine user flow and conversion.

From a PR perspective, we should be asking the same questions about media information on web sites. For example, some sites have great information but finding it is difficult and the media won't surf forever looking for it. I know that because they call me and ask me to track down studies stored on client sites. I too have difficulty finding the information. The "conversion funnel" is fatally flawed.

The difficulty several of my clients have is a lack of control. They can't unilaterally change their web sites to make them easier to use. The webmaster makes changes, and the webmaster might get around to redesign eventually. When that happens, however, PR practitioners should be ready with specific advice for how to change site design and flow. Often, they are not, and they lose the opportunity to improve the press section because they don't know what to tell site designers. What PR has yet to learn is that site usability is as much a PR skill as writing.


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?