What is the secret of success on the Internet? Content? Social Media? Lots of lovely links pointing to your site? Web design?
Answer: Usefulness – and look no further than Amazon for a study in how to be phenomenally useful. An April 2010 study by comScore found:
- Amazon Sites experienced sizeable growth during the month with an 8-percent increase to 245 million searches, rounding off the top 10 ranking
People want relevance- in other words usefulness. Google and fellow search engines similarly strive in all their algorithmic ways to serve up relevance; usefulness. So what can we learn from Amazon that we can apply (hopefully) to our sites?
1. It has a very easy, intuitive interface that helps you navigate to your relevant content. The interface makes sense from a visitor’s standpoint and you can find what you need quickly
2. The design is fairly conservative and ‘unflashy’. Content is prioritised.
3. It doesn’t just list its products- you are given a wealth of information about the products
4. You can read sample chapters, look at tables of contents to facilitate your buying
5. You can listen to snippets of music to facilitate your buying
6. You can read reviews from people who have left a review – professional reviewers and consumers
7. You can contribute reviews and so be ‘part of Amazon’
8. You are encouraged to stay on the site and/or return to it in various ways; for example you can save information for later. If there is a book you are interested in but you are not ready to purchase it right now, you can save it in a Wish list and come back to it later. Genius.
9. You are sold ‘similar products’ to maximise conversion rates
10. Liberal use of keywords :
- Editorial reviews. These are usually rich with keywords related to the subject area of the book in question
- Customer reviews- Customers reviewing the book will continue to use the keywords of the subject area of the book. Genius again.
- The use of tags- lists customers use to associate with a product
- The similar products your are pointed to after your purchase will use relevant keywords in their titles
What do you need to do today to make your site more useful?
Photo credit Find Your Search
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