Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Recession is Over, Happy Days are Here Again!

Remember, you read it here first.  But, be warned, the title of this post may or may not be true.

Using catchy headlines that really don’t have anything to do with your real message is a way of getting people to click through to your web site.  But does it work?

Every web searcher is looking for a solution to a want or need.  One is looking for sports scores, another for new tires and another for information on the lifecycle of newts.  But, they have a problem with the sheer number of results they receive when they conduct a search.  From the multitude, which search result is going to give them the right solution fastest? 

It’s like choosing a path through a forest.  You want to get to the other side as fast as possible, but you must choose from countless trails and you are not sure which one is the shortest.

It’s why web searchers, once they click on a search result, will probably scan the resulting page instead of reading all the content.  They are looking for confirmation that they are on the right path to a solution.

But how do they determine they are on track?  They scan for the term they searched.  From the search results for the “life cycle of newts”, you would probably choose from those that repeat your complete search phrase.

It’s why catchy headlines don’t always work.  It might get people to your web page, but for the wrong reasons.  Their frustration at not finding what they expected could reflect badly on your company.

You need to build clear paths to your web site that potential customers can find when they search for companies and products like yours.

Anyone arriving at this page because they read the headline and were searching for good economic news probably clicked away in disgust when they realized this was not the path they wanted.

But you still read about the end of the recession here first!

By Stephen Da Cambra

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