ger pages so that they’re always within eyeshot. By the
way, “Back to top” is not a call to action!
>How to check for this leak: If your traffic reports
show this type of leak, look at the paths that visitors
take through your site; that is, where do visitors go
next from each page? If many of them are exiting the
site and /or they fan out across many pages with no
clear pattern or direction, your site has a possible leak.
A Web site page must immediately engage visitors,
based on their needs. It must have enough content
to draw them into other areas, and motivate them to
find out more about you. It’s not enough to give great
information—they’ll soak it up, and then leave.
>How to check for this leak: Hopefully,
your traffic reports are sophisticated enough
to show you which keywords bring visitors to
each specific page of your site.
If visitors leave pages quickly, then your
content probably does not meet their informational needs. If visitors are reading a page
(check your traffic reports) and then leaving,
you’ve satisfied them, but failed to draw them to the
rest of your site. This can be addressed with more
compelling navigation and calls to action. Either way,
you have a leak!
leaks in Building credibility
MarketingExperiments research has shown that powerful, specific and authoritative testimonials can have
a major impact on your site’s conversion rates.
Consider this statement: “Documented results
demonstrate that just a few hours with an expert can
increase speaker effectiveness up to 125 percent.”
Imagine how much stronger that assertion would be
if there were some examples of “documented results”
supported by client testimonials.
Adding a page to your site called “What Clients
Say” doesn’t accomplish this, and I can confidently
state that visitors don’t go to those pages. It’s not
just traffic reports that tell me this—live audiences
respond with a resounding “no” whenever I ask if
they would click on this link.
A WEB SITE PAGE MUST IMMEDIATELY ENGAGE
VISITORS, BASED ON THEIR NEEDS. IT’S NOT
ENOUGH TO GIVE GREAT INFORMATION—
THEY’LL SOAK IT UP, AND THEN LEAVE.
leaks in direction and outcomes
In his book Don’t Make Me Think, author Steve Krug
describes how critical it is to direct visitors to the next
step you want them to take. If you fail to do this,
and rely on your visitors to figure this out for themselves, there’s a strong likelihood they’ll make a different choice other than the one you want. They may
even leave your site altogether, creating leaks in your
potential revenue stream.
Every page on your site needs strong calls to action
that stand out visually and click directly to where the
visitor can fulfill your desired action; for example:
“Sign up for our newsletter,” “Book this speaker,”
etc. Pages can have more than one call to action, and
there’s nothing wrong with repeating them on lon-
>How to check for this leak: This is an important,
yet very subtle leak to detect. Are you losing potential
business because your site fails to adequately establish
your value and credibility?
Review your site for appropriate content such as
client lists, testimonials and case studies. Sprinkle testimonials throughout your site, using short one- or
two-line excerpts that are relevant to each page’s content—whether it’s about a program, a consulting service or the value of your newsletter.
Make sure that all of this material is accessible from
other pages so visitors can find it easily. If you experience an increase in the number of calls or higher quality leads, then you probably just fixed a leak.
Philippa Gamse, CMC, is a Web
strategy expert who spends much of
her time fixing leaky Web sites. She can
be reached at (831) 325-3307, or via