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Saturday, April 26, 2008

How High is Your Bounce Rate?

Playing the role of a regular consumer trying to find something sure is eye-opening some days.

There must be a reason we all flock to third-party informational sites: the moment you give a corporate site the benefit of the doubt and actually try to visit the thing to discover more about a product you're keenly interested in, they let you down.


BMW Canada has a microsite for the 1 Series that requires you to "register for a PIN" to get into the site at all. See ya.

Infiniti Canada doesn't seem to want me to learn about their products, either. After struggling through the "English/French" splash page, I'm asked on a second page whether I want to fill out a survey. If I say no, I might be able to still access the site, which is heartening. But 75% of users will bounce at one of the two pages. 100% of search engine crawlers won't bother to wade into the rest of the site, though you can sure hold out hope that they'll pay attention to your SiteMap file. (Hmm, you're a big car company and they want your ad dollars... so... expect spider love to be sporadic at best, unless you embrace informational principles and quality user experiences.)

And of course the large hardware retailer that always asks me for my postal code if I want to see the product page for light fixtures. So the price will match the prices in the nearest retail stores. Boing!

I could stand on the roof of Casa Loma reciting the Cluetrain Manifesto over and over in the hopes that the "agencies of record" will listen... but then again, I could just get on with my life.

It's tremendously liberating when you stop hiding the banana, folks. Try it sometime.

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