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Customer Conversion Rates

November 18, 2003

Even if you have the greatest visibility and the nicest web site, if your visitors don't convert, ie if they don't purchase your products or services, your site didn't deliver what it was intended to deliver and that is $ales. It's no coincidence that Rank for $ales has a dollar sign in place of the letter "S" one would normally expect. Rank for $ales means just that: your web site needs to rank higher than your competitors in order to make sales.

Now, let's pause here for a minute. What if a site does rank number One in most of the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages) and has quality, targeted traffic and lots of other great features and is very popular in your industry but people just don't buy anything and leave. Well if that happens, and we have seen it a number of times, chances are that your web site has a problem and sometimes it's a hidden problem. For having encountered some of them in the past, these kind of hidden problems are not always easy to detect and correct on one's first attempt, here. But, invariably, after making a few spot checks, the culprit is usually found and corrected.

As you might expect, it's imperative that such problems or road blocks as we like to call them are repaired rapidly. Failing to do so would almost assuredly and negatively affect your brand or the professional image that one would wish his or her business would deliver. Here are a few instances that can cause people to leave without even browsing for a minute or two:

         Sites that take longer than 7 or 8 seconds to load
         Sites that use a lot of Flash technology and slow pages
         Sites that are difficult to navigate or not user-friendly
         Sites that are what we call "labyrinths" (impossible to find anything)

As a rule, Rank for $ always strongly recommends to stay away from Flash technology at all times. Unless your are promoting the latest Hollywood movies or if your in the business of selling tickets to rock concerts or such high glamour events, stay away from Flash technology. The reasons could'nt be any simpler. Web sites made with Flash pages increase the time a site loads anywhere from four to as much as ten times the normal load time. If your site does not load within 7 to 8 seconds maximum from the time your visitors hit the enter key, you will lose more than half of your hard-earned would be visitors.

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Time after time, most web user surveys will tell you that people want a site that loads rapidly and they want to find what it is they are looking for, pay for it and leave. Another very negative point with Flash technology is that it is a lot harder to optimize a site done with Flash technology than it is with regular "search engine-friendly" HTML sites.

Engines such as Google and most of the others typically "crawl" or spider web sites. They only thing they are looking for is quality content and that is relevant. Quality content only means one thing: pure and plain-old simple text!. Forget about all the fancy bells and whistles. If you look at the more successful sites on the web, none are created in Flash: e-Bay has no Flash, nor does or even Google for that matter.

Article written by Serge Thibodeau,
President & CEO,
Rank for $ales
Copyright (c) Serge Thibodeau 2003

Unless otherwise specified, all content and material on this site is copyrighted by Serge Thibodeau of and may not be reproduced by any means without express written permission. Using my content without permission is a theft of my work. Please contact to discuss certain reprint options that would be acceptable.

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