Thursday, August 14, 2008

Online Marketing ROI: A Web Site ROI Mental Model

Mental models and analogies often help explain software and technology when experts are explaining solutions to business owners who are not technical experts. One of the dangers is that as technology changes those mental images must adapt to reflect the new state. For the past decade the primary mental model for the traditional web site has been a traditonal house. Thus, the use of the term "Home Page" as a point of entry to a web site, with a variety of rooms for "Visitors" to "Enter". We spend countless hours perfecting our Home page because we know that the entrance is the most important moment to make a positive impression.

The model has changed. The rapid evolution of Search as the primary method of traveling the web and the advanced use of SEO tools to drive users to pages of a site means that many visitors to web sites no longer visit the home page as the point of entry to the site, if at all. I sugges that that the new mental model in no longer the Home, but the Apartment building. Any particular visitor may visit any particular apartment (page)as the point of entry. As the site owner, all of your apartments must be optimized and prepared to make a positive impression on the visitor, and each apartment (page) must consider where you want the visitor to go after completing the visit to that page. So, maximum ROI from marketing investment in the web site must consider optimizing across the site and not simply the Home Page.

Let MarketingWitz know what you think about this updated mental model.

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