After the feedback from PINT, designers of the Cardiac Science website, and from an online marketing expert I trust, I scrapped my first web design and started over.
Like the chameleon, I needed to tone down the individuality a bit and blend.
Bryce at PINT had a good point: Lots of websites look basically the same because they all use a common, accepted architecture that works. Primary navigation on the top, the Golden Triangle, supporting information further down the page.
Mock ups began and I paused. I didn’t like the way things were going.
The page to the left is such an eyesore I thought twice about sharing it with you.
In my defense, it is JUST A MOCK UP and I had the good sense to abandon it.
So, for educational purposes, let’s discuss why it looks so terrible.
The first thing I disliked was the three columns under the primary navigation: That blue box, the video, and the lead form. And the blue box announcing my value “Providing crisp marketing communication and lead generation strategies for life science companies” was too bold.
Those Awful Forms
I immediately knew the second form (the red one) was dead on arrival. I knew “sign up for this!” and “sign up for that!” would never fly. They competed with each other, the red one would lose every time, and her proposed copy “Subscribe to us!” made it even worse.
When I wrote my ebook, I had four iterations of the blue form to split-test. To get the book you either had to provide:
- Email only
- Email and first name (so I could address you by name in future emails)
- Email, first name, and company (so I could target you better, in case you gave me a yahoo or gmail email address)
- Email, first name, company, and phone (so I could call you to prospect)
For the record, I am a fan of split testing.
Also for the record, I have too little traffic for a practical split test. Plus, I’ve done plenty of reading about how to get the highest conversion on a form, and the overwhelming evidence is just ask for an email address. Nothing else.
So I’ve abandoned the split testing on my site and why, everyplace you can “get something” on this site, I require only an email address.
The Center Column
I definitely wanted to keep the main video. That was a given I’ll talk more about in part three of this series.
Underneath the video, I wanted to give you interesting links to the site.
One of the things I always liked about the Cardiac Science site was the “Currently” section. It’s a dynamic list of four recent posts and press releases. We blogged three to four times a week, so the section constantly updated and I learned somewhere that Google “punishes” static pages that never change.
I had more room – so why not TWO columns, I thought (and quickly dismissed). I figured the “Must Reads” would be the really important lead-generation forms. The “Popular” would be blog posts that got lots of visitors.
It was just too much.
And The Testimonials
Honestly, I think I put the testimonial section at the bottom because I didn’t know what else to put! I’ll talk more about them – and the unexpected benefit I got from them – in the next installment.
– An Embarrassing Mess
– Snake Oil: Third in a Series
– Time to Change Homepages: Fourth in a Series