Dear Gerry McGovern: You Sir, Are Wrong!

28 Oct

Dear Gerry McGovern: You Sir, Are Wrong!

If Mr McGovern should ever read this post, don’t take offense to the post title personally. I’m sure you have your reasons for making a claim like you did on your post and I’m sure that you’ve had success elsewhere online.

But I have to disagree 100% with the statement you made from this post (opens new window). While I won’t argue some of your points – poor navigation and “fluff” can certainly interfere with the user experience – I will on the overall theme of your statement.

I can point to hundreds of examples where the longer a person stays on a site, the more likely they are to convert.

This of course means that the site has all the information and calls to action set up in the right areas, and we know only a few sites like that exist.

Not all sites are about conversions from a selling point. Facebook makes it’s billions because people spend time on it. Does Facebook have the best navigation for a site? I don’t think so, but it works well enough to keep over 300 million people on the site in some capacity at all times.

Users on Facebook are engaged – be it uploading images and tagging them, playing Farmville or just looking at all of their friend’s updates. It is a proven model that pageviews, engagement and time spent on a site make money. To make your statement of people staying on your site longer is bad, is just extremely short sighted in my opinion.

I work with sites where the more pageviews there are, the more the money is earned. You don’t punish the user with a wonky interface, instead, you provide them with quick ways to find their way around the site, look at the search terms they use on the site, and you create content that engages the reader.

It’s not a hard concept to grasp. However, it is hard to consistantly generate interesting and engaging content that will keep readers happy and making them want to come back to your site.

But hey, this is just seven years of experience talking here, what do I know?

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