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  1. #1
    Fear and Arrogance jrrl's Avatar
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    Cautionary tale about monitoring the effect of changes to your site:

    I recently made a SMALL change to the home page of one of my sites. It was literally changing the link text that led to the internal pages by ONE WORD. The result was a very radical change in my traffic profile. Suddenly, I had lots of traffic to the internal pages (good!), but the number of click through rate dropped by 80%! (BAD!)

    I watched this for a while, wondering if it was a temporary effect. After two days, I bailed and switch back. I removed that one word from the link text. My clickthrough rate immediately climbed back to its previous healthy levels.

    Let's be careful out there folks.

    -John.
    There's a reason army's wear uniforms even though it makes them easier to spot. Sometimes that's what you want. Uniforms suggest organization, power, and numbers. These, in turn, inspire fear. And, as any good operative knows, there is no more effective weapon than fear.

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  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Was the word.... DON'T
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
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    Hey Cybear,

    Good point. I did the same thing with a boatload of internal pages, thinking it would only increase traffic. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I couldn't switch them back fast enough.

    Next time I will conduct a little test before I make global changes.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Yep, I've experienced the same thing, just last week. What we perceive as a minor change can have major implications! Who knows why...

    Andy

  5. #5
    Fear and Arrogance jrrl's Avatar
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    And now my click throughs have dried up again.

    Someone please shoot me.

    -John.
    There's a reason army's wear uniforms even though it makes them easier to spot. Sometimes that's what you want. Uniforms suggest organization, power, and numbers. These, in turn, inspire fear. And, as any good operative knows, there is no more effective weapon than fear.

    Hosting Comparison - HostScope - jrrl.com

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    I'm evidently missing something here.

    Why would your hits to a page dry up if you changed wording on a page and didn't touch the page address?

    Where were the hits coming from - Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc?

    I've changed stuff on pages before and never had this problem. In fact I'm about to radically change 700+ pages tomorrow.

    If the address remains the same, the SE's don't know there's a change until they crawl your site the next time and then they pick up the changes.

    Bob

  7. #7
    Fear and Arrogance jrrl's Avatar
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    Let me try to clarify.

    On my site's home page, there are a number of links to content pages, one per product. In addition, there are links directly to the products on the merchant sites on both the home page and the internal pages.

    My change was to add one word to the "call to action" link that would lead people to the internal pages. As a result (I guess), I got a lot more traffic to the internal pages, BUT I got a massive drop in traffic to the actual merchant pages.

    So, I suspect that my internal pages do a poor job of pre-selling and that I did myself a disservice by enticing my customers to go there. On the other hand, removing the additional word left me with a brief burst of clickthroughs (to the merchants), but then they stopped again. It has now been HOURS since anyone clicked on a merchant link on that site. Which is bad.

    I am stumped. Must be bad karma or something.
    Maybe tomorrow will be better.

    -John.
    There's a reason army's wear uniforms even though it makes them easier to spot. Sometimes that's what you want. Uniforms suggest organization, power, and numbers. These, in turn, inspire fear. And, as any good operative knows, there is no more effective weapon than fear.

    Hosting Comparison - HostScope - jrrl.com

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