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  1. #1
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Hi all,

    I'm still a relative newbie to Affiliate Marketing (I've ran one site for a few years, however) ... but I'm not a stranger to Interface Design and web development (10+ year).

    My question to the affiliates who are pulling in 'big bucks' (to me, 1k+/month), is this:

    What FORMAT do you use for site navigation? I've been seeing a lot of sites that use the WebMerge type navigation. Like, you visit the site, there is a main page that looks nice, then you click a category that takes you to a page with a million text links (product names), then you click those and maybe see another level (like states "Product X in Michigan" that you have to click on, then you finally get to the product page, and you see the "More Information" link that goes to the affiliate.

    Does this navigation scheme actually work? It seems cumbersome, but I'm willing to use any scheme that converts! Are any of you big money makers using navigation like this?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> willing to use any scheme that converts! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    For the most part, site navigation will have little bearing on "conversion".

    The key is to have the specific item that your visitor is looking for right there in front of their face when they arrive at your site.

  3. #3
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    January 18th, 2005
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chief_Beef_aka_Fy_Dolla:
    The key is to have the specific item that your visitor is looking for right there in front of their face when they arrive at your site. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I couldn't agree more. The more clicks a potential customer has to make to get to his product of interest, the quicker you will lose him. Navigation has no bearing on the outcome when you direct your customer exactly to where he wants to go and put the product in his face with the first click.

    Catwoman

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> For the most part, site navigation will have little bearing on "conversion". <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That may be true for a pure datafeed driven type site, but navigation is EVERYTHING on a content site. Indeed, the whole point of the navigation on a content site is to get your visitors off your free content and into your shopping area.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Jason,

    I really like the navigation on www.bizrate.com which I've sort of used in my own fashion. What's important is that you offer as many paths as you can to each product: via a sitemap, category listing, featured products, etc. I see a lot of sites that use a left navigation which works really well, but you can also do a top navigation with products below. Mostly you want your navigation to accomodate the bots who will spider your site and gather information for the engines. Just make sure the bots reach each and every product in 2 or 3 clicks from your front page and you'll get a nice even distribution of pages in the engines. Just make it easy for people and bots to find any product on your site.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    The type of navigation you mention is done for search engines, not real users visitin a site from the main page, then finding the product they'd like to buy. It's assumed that the search engines will list all those sites, the ones like Google will send the user directly to the product page, so when the buyer searches for a specific product, it'll be right there if it ranks well at the SERPs.
    SomethingStore.com - Surprise and Delight!

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    I use a custom javascript navigation bar on the side with a two deep level drop for the cool look and a text link nav bar on the bottom for the SEs.
    Luke
    Have you promoted your brand name today?

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> whole point of the navigation on a content site is to get your visitors off your free content and into your shopping area. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If conversions are the concern, then the key is to get them to the shopping area by having them ARRIVE there. Content sites may have different obstacles to overcome in trying to coerce somebody into buying something, but a site that has no other object than to SELL something should be configured in such a manner as to have the buyer enter through the right door in the first place.

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