Compete.com regularly ranks the world's top websites. Checking out the top 10 lists for sites with the most unique visitors in June 2011, I decided to conduct a deeper investigation into just what it is about these sites that makes them tick.
Amazon, sitting at number 7, stood out to me immediately. No surprise here. Amazon is constantly exemplified for its web and marketing prowess. It's the top case study for how and why marketers should use personalization in their marketing -- leveraging the wisdom of the crowd to create a more personalized user experience that increases customer conversion dramatically.
In fact, this is true for many of the sites on Compete's top 10 list, which is why it tops my own list of lessons marketers can learn from Amazon's web strategy ...
1. Use the Crowd to Create "Segments of One"
Amazon and many of these sites are brilliant at leveraging the wisdom of the crowd to create "segments of 1," or segmentation that is so granular it focuses on each individual person and their specific online behavior, wants, and needs.
The pages I view and emails I get from Amazon are unique to me. They offer suggestions for books, movies, and other products I might like based on my personal purchase history and shopping patterns. Like Netflix, Google, Facebook, YouTube, and so many other high trafficked sites, Amazon uses the wisdom of the crowd to personalize the user experience and dramatically increase conversion .
Marketing Takeaway: Take a hint from Amazon and these other top websites and create a more personalized user experience for your target audience. Leverage the information you can gather from your prospects and customers in order to create fine-grained segments and target messaging and offers that specifically cater to those segments' individual needs. You'll find that with this method, you will dramatically increase your conversion rates.
2. Create Tons of Content
Amazon has 248,000,000 pages stored in Google's index. Each of these 248,000,000 pages has the opportunity to rank for any number of keywords in search engines . Now that's quite a bit of on-page SEO juice!
Marketing Takeaway: The more pages you have on your website, the more pages your site can be indexed for in search engines. More pages also means more opportunities for your prospects to find you in search engines and more chances to rank for your business' top keywords. The best way to create tons of website pages is by blogging. Start a business blog , publish frequently, and make sure each post is search engine optimized for your best keywords. The more optimized content you have, the better your chances will be of getting found online.
3. White Space Is Over-Rated
To be honest, it looks like someone threw up their Halloween candy all over Amazon's web pages, but it doesn't seem to matter. In fact, really none of Compete's top 10 sites are particularly Apple-esque in design, which many web designers seem to idolize. Most of them have near zero white space and are chock full of stuff. That said, if they are the top 10 most visited websites, it just goes to show that web design isn't the most important thing. Rather, being effective is what wins.
Marketing Takeaway: Stop obsessing about web design and instead focus on making your website effective. Rather than spending your time and money on making your site look pretty, spend it on optimizing your website pages, creating remarkable content that attracts visitors, and optimizing your site and landing pages for lead generation. Your site can be the prettiest website in the world, but if it doesn't generate leads and customers for your business, what's the point?
What else can you learn from Amazon's web strategy?