How an Ugly, Mistake-Ridden Web Site Outperformed a ‘Better’ Site

October 25, 2006 at 4:47 am (Web Design)

We recently  redeveloped a web site for a client who sells a service at $5,000 a pop. Our redeveloped site replaced a site that he’d designed himself, which had been up for 6 months. It was an ugly, ugly site.

Yet, during its first couple of weeks online, the new site came nowhere near achieving the sales levels of the old, ugly site. Why? The answer reveals a fascinating insight into how some web sites work.

The old ugly site was mistake-ridden. It offered very little information. In no way did it present the client’s services in a positive way. But it still outperformed the new site by a long way, for one simple reason.

As there was no information on the web site, people phoned up my client. He’s great on the phone and made sales to 80% of these callers. He even made a $5,000 sale to a visitor who rang him to tell him about a typo on his web site!

My new (and better?) web site answered many of the prospects’ frequently asked questions, offered a 3-part email autoresponder course, and provided a lot of great information that was useful to visitors trying to make a buying decision.

In fact, there was so much great information that prospects didn’t need to call. So they didn’t. They made their buying decisions based on the information that was provided on the web site and the sales dropped like a stone!

The lesson to be learned here is that success is not about having the best-looking web site, the one with the most information, or the site with the highest traffic levels. It’s about what works.

I’d better go. I’m off to remove a whole lot of useful content and add a phone number to a homepage!

We represents a Group of Web Developers …

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