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Closing May 25. Investment Opportunity.


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About dgeary9

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  1. Stever, I don't have a personal site that gets enough traffic to run this, but I have a couple of clients who might like to be guinea pigs. I understand the tool's in BETA, but can you give me a better sense of what you mean by beta? I know you want feedback on design/functionality. Is the backend decently reliable (e.g. can my clients rest relatively assured that data collected on their site is all making it into the backend and visible in the reports)? If they run it, we'll likely be making some business decisions based on the data (and as a web analytics geek, let me warn you how much feedback you're likely to get from me on the reporting back end )...
  2. One comment - I went to look and realized my volume was turned off - a standard issue while I'm working. Many people in offices do the same - and those who don't are pretty likely to be unimpressed by a voice from their computer letting all their coworkers know they aren't actually working at the moment. If you look at your web visitor data by time of day, when is your peak traffic? Most 9-5 traffic (remembering varying time zones across the country) is likely to be people doing non-work related activities from work. Perhaps run your Site Pal test in the evening??
  3. Agreed on the demographic for mortgages - but is that the same demographic for an online mortgage site? I'm thinking that factors like already having a relationship with a bank and having a more traditionally sized down payment in their pocket would tend to send more of the "older generation" looking for mortgages offline. Jeff, do you know the demographic make-up of the visitors to your mortgage site?
  4. DCrx made some good suggestions on improving the page, let me just address expectations for a moment. 60% bounce rate is a little high, but 15% would be a miracle of major proportions . For starters, lots of people searching on classroom decorations are probably elementary teachers, and your decorations seemed aimed at higher grades. Can you target your ads more precisely to decrease clicks but increase targeting? Again on the targeting, most of your decorations are posters and window clings - can you make that clear in your ad? Next, give people a reason to click further - looking at a picture of Skip won't do it, try featuring a few of your best-selling products (ideally in use in a classroom, but even showing a product/category would be an improvement on the current page). Also, learn from what data you already have. The 40% who don't leave your page right now, where are they going? That will start to tell you something about the goals of your current visitors.
  5. I think it's important to make a distinction between an 8 year old tripping across porn while conducting an entirely innocent search, and a 14 year old who knows how to bend/break all the rules to find what they want. I'm not asking society to help me with my 14 year old , but it is frightening what an 8 year old can find by accident. I'm not a big fan of censorship for exactly the reasons you mention - it can be a very slippery slope. However, I hope that an 8 year old viewing the really nasty side of porn falls onto the "not OK" part of everyone's slope. Find other ways to protect freedom of expression.
  6. Maybe if all you search on is SEO ;-) Not true on all topics. I do a lot of work for breast cancer research and advocacy, and pregnancy/parenting issues. A lot of searches on those topics will bring up porn sites in the top 10 results - try a search on "pregnant pics" for example. I ran that search recently with my 2.5 year old on my lap to try to show her what a big pregnant belly looked like. My safe search filters are on the default "moderate" setting - using the strict filters removes a lot of legitimate sites from my searches. The problem I have with pornography so easily accessible online has very little to do with nudity or sex (or at least that kind doesn't bother me, LOL). What gives me nightmares is my 8 year old niece tripping across much nastier content - there is a LOT of stuff on the web that is FAR worse than what my child is likely to trip across almost anywhere else in this country (although I'm not fond of the violence on cable TV and the news either!). I think parents have an enormous responsibility to create safe environments for their children, and to teach them how to have their own filters. That said, it would be nice if society felt a little more need to support the healthy growth of our children. I think the "kids will find this stuff eventually anyhow" rationalization doesn't excuse us from trying to make such exposure a lot more difficult. <edit>Fixed BBCode</edit>
  7. dgeary9

    Stats Reporting

    Haven't had any problem at all, and I have it running on 8 sites.
  8. My heart breaks for her, that is every parent's worst nightmare. I think this welling up of virtual support is absolutely wonderful.
  9. If I'm doing a fairly specific search, I actually wish a lot more searches got me to specific pages. One of the reasons I never click on ads is that when I search on a specific term, they put my nice specific search as a header and then link me through to their home page. I have a little more tolerance when a site home page comes up in the organic search. If I wanted generic home pages, I would have put in a more generic search term... That said, I expect any page I land on to give me a decent flavor for the site I'm on and a sense of where the heck in the site I am (breadcrumb trails, simple navigational cues). I hate that feeling of "if I leave this page I'll never be able to find it again". I also like landing pages that give me multiple options of where to go next, I don't like the flavors that try to push me into a short-cut buying decision. Umm, isn't that the argument people usually make against investing in usability research ? I've seen landing page optimization be extremely effective - you can capture folks deep into the buying process who are searching for something very specific. You can also target a market that your main site might alienate without a bit more of an introduction. I think the key, however, is that search engine marketers aren't the only ones to pay . Some of the best landing pages I've seen were the results of user testing - identifying a group of site visitors who respond positively to a different point of entry into the site than the home page.
  10. Doesn't appear to have a whole lot of functionality? Pretty much any stats tool will tell you what search terms drove people to your site, I'm not understanding what is unique about this product, at least from their screenshots... One of the reviews suggest that they group keywords into "clouds", that could be interesting.
  11. TreV - some web analytics vendors provide some industry benchmarking based on stats across many websites in an industry, but in general, you would tackle this question the same way you would offline. Grab some potential customers, sit them down at the computer with a task to shop for something you offer, and watch where they go and why. Web analytics isn't the answer for everything .
  12. Clearly I'm less focused than Ammon... 1. What is usually the FIRST thing you look for when you get to a new site? If I have a purpose, an easy path to achieve it, but I'm highly distractable - I really like sites with something interesting that catches my attention - related to my initial purpose, but growing it in a direction that I wasn't expecting. I use the web often to brainstorm and research, and I'm not very linear - I appreciate a site that leads me down an interesting side path. 2. For sites you go to often (like your feeds, bookmarks, faves), what kinds of things do you go to first? (ie their blog, news, polls, comments...) Almost all my commonly visited sites are forums or blogs - I have a relationship with these folks. "Professional" info I tend to use feeds. 2a. What brings you back to these sites? (feeds, emails, various "sticky"..) Diversity - something to keep my mind occupied for a few minutes, updates on my friends. 3. Do you find you belong to community sites or are attracted to them more? (forums, Myspace, community oriented portals, discussion lists, clubs) I actually don't stick around many - I tend to participate deeply in a few. Because of that, I think I have pretty high standards for what deserves my time. 4. If you're a community oriented person, both on the web or just in real-life, what gets you jazzed up about it and holds your interest? People who think and feel differently than I do - and people who think and feel very similarly. Both feed different needs. 5. Do you think you have to have something in common with other community members, or do you think you like to join because of the differences and learning experiences? Both - so long as the differences are expressed with a reasonable amount of respect, which is actually where a lot of online communities seem to founder. 6. Are any of you involved in your local community? (sports, schools, volunteers for anything, church org's, environment, causes you believe in?) (Don't be afraid to tell about them here, but you also don't need to.) Yup, although being a parent has reshaped my issues some. I'm pretty involved in the next election at the moment as well.
  13. dgeary9

    Making the web exclusive thru Standards?

    I think that standards need to highly pragmatic. To me, that means that when a person weighs the tangible benefits of complying with a standard with the tangible costs of complying with the standard, the benefits are higher for the majority of folks. The problem with most of the benefits cited here is that they don't tend to accrue back to the individual - they are "communal" internet performance issues. I think that for many of the people putting pages up on the web, the benefits of being compliant are relatively small. At the same time, the costs are often big. Lots of folks, including professional web designers, use tools (Dreamweaver, etc) that produce yugly and non-compliant code. Getting standards compliant isn't easy (the rules change too fast, for starters!!) and it involves mucking directly in code. That's a pretty big barrier for a lot of folks. Its the whole issue of bringing standards easily into the ways that most people build web pages (standards "manners", rather than standards "etiquette").
  14. Well, just playing with it briefly, I noticed a few things: 1) It ditches the local yellow pages results at the top of local searches - odd, those would seem to be quite accessible?? 2) It tends to pick up a site internal page more often - often these pages rank ahead of home pages. 3) A lot more .co.uk results - is the UK a leader in accessibility design, or are there design trends in the UK that just happen to be accessible? 4) The big shopping engines (shopping.com, bizrate.com, etc) seem to do well in the accessible searches. As a result, a search on a couple of electronic gadgets pulled up a bunch of shopping aggregator sites on the accessible search, and a lot more product review sites on standard search. Interesting. What are other folks seeing?
  15. Exactly. Figure out how to make a certain group of visitors happy, then you can go after more of them . Even searches that are pretty infrequent at the moment in terms of pushing visitors to your site can be the tip of a nice, valuable iceberg. And your idea about adding comparison data is an important one - people searching on big screen TVs are generally earlier in the buying process, and looking for some guidance on how to choose the right TV. Provide that, and you might even get some bookmarks from folks who aren't ready to buy - yet. Sigh... now if I just had your skills with writing! I think I'm going to have to borrow that little phrase .