The company (iCrossing where I now work as travel editor) is at a really interesting crossroads. In the old
days (read 12 months ago - this is the Web) the company's reputation was built on being very good at making
clever tweaks to the technical elements of websites to get them up
the rankings on Google. (Yes folks, that's called SEO - search engine optimisation.) As Google gets smarter - and better able to spot technical tricks to boost your site's position in search rankings - it's clear that
tinkering under the bonnet won't be enough. (I'm not going to get into more dubious practices like link buying in this post.)
Let's face it. It's one
thing to attract people to your website, it's another to keep them
there and get them to make purchases. What a website really needs to do
is give people what they are looking for in an interesting and useful
The web's very strength is also its weakness in some ways... because everything about it is so measureable, it's very easy to obsess about numbers (hits, page rankings, conversions etc). You can easily forget that at the end of the day a website is there for its users... who are real people.
Real people don't always behave in totally rational ways...Just getting them to land on your home page is often not enough to get them to buy.