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Google Analytics in real life

A few months back, Google created a series of videos titled “Google Analytics in Real Life”.  They show how some of the silly things that ecommerce sites do look completely ridiculous in real life.  Take a look:

Online Checkout

Landing Page Optimization

Internal Site Search

How does this apply to my site?

Take a look at your site and pretend it was a real store. Notice anything odd? Here are some that might pop out at you.

Splash pages
Thankfully, these are becoming virtually extinct, but you still see them from time to time. Can you imagine being forced to watch a video before you could enter a store?

publix-signUnintuitive navigation
While you certainly want to create a unique look for your site, having non-standard navigation can make things unnecessarily tricky for your users.  Think of the signage in any major store — large and clear so that customers can get where they need to go.

Stat Counters
This is another one that you thankfully don’t see very often anymore.  We love Google Analytics, but there’s no need to clutter up your page with a number that is useless to your visitors.

Not mobile friendly
Can you imagine visiting a store and only see a partial selection of products (or perhaps none at all) based on the size of the car you arrived there in?  These days it’s no longer about having a “desktop” and “mobile” version of your site, as there are ton of options inbetween.  While  a 4″ phone could be considered “mobile”? How about a 6″ phone?  7″ tablet?  10″ tablet?  10″ netbook?  It’s a fuzzy line, and one that you don’t want to mess around with.  Your best bet is to create a mobile responsive site, so it shows your content in the best possible manner to any kind of device that arrives on your site.

CAPTCHA on your contact form
I understand that spam can be a problem, but passing that issue along to your customer is weak.  Getting people to fill out the contact form is the ultimate goal for many sites, so putting up roadblocks like that is never a good idea.  The “online checkout” video above shows what it would look like in real life and how foolish it really is.  Granted, we get some spam from our contact page from time to time, but we deal with the spam to help make things easier for our legitimate contacts.

You certainly don’t want your site to be boring and stale, but adding unique features simply for the sake of “spicing it up” can often backfire.  Your customer likely has 20 other sites like yours that they can choose from, so if they’re willing to give you a shot make sure they can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

About the Author

Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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