Link redundancy good — visitors immaterial.
Thursday, December 19th, 2002
“Petco.com’s marketers wanted to add a “button” that would take shoppers from the home page to a page featuring monthly specials. But the site already had a tab on its navigation bar and a link at the bottom of the home page to the specials page. The marketers worried that the extra link would clutter up the home page and only split existing sales from the specials page with the other two links. Instead, they discovered that the extra link boosted total traffic from the specials page by about 10%. What’s more, they determined that while the three links split the number of visitors to the specials page about equally, the new button drove significantly more sales.”
“The number of visitors was a popular indicator of success in the early days of e-commerce, but now it’s considered a terrible way to tell if a site is doing well. Yet 97% of the retailers in a recent Forrester survey said they count site traffic. The number of visitors to the site may show you’re attracting a lot of shoppers, but it won’t tell you why some are buying and some aren’t. ‘Traffic for traffic’s sake is not a metric that retailers ought to be focused on,’ says Carrie Johnson, a Forrester analyst. (WSJ.com, PW protected.)