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Short Term 302 Redirect For Holiday Season?

     
7:14 pm on Dec 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This is probably a REALLY stupid idea, but my site is in the tank as it were, so here goes.

I am thinking of doing a 302 redirect on my most popular INFORMATION pages (which does not convert at all) to one of my shopping cart pages for the next two weeks.

Organic traffic to my INFORMATION pages is UP 60% over this time last year.

But my ecommerce traffic is DOWN 36% compared to this time last year.

This despite moving my ecommerce cart to a responsive design that seems to pass google's mobile friendly criteria.

My most popular landing page that generates about 18K visitors a month is an INFORMATION page that has a page value of less than $0.01 (yes, less than 1 cent).

Soooo... how much damage can I do if for the next two weeks I take the content from the information page and put it at the bottom of my most relevant eCommerce page, and then do a 302 redirect from the information page to the modified ecommerce page?

I do understand that the people who are landing on my information page are in a different "buying cycle" than those who would be coming to my ecommerce page. The people who come to my landing page are - it would appear by the comments I get - coming AFTER buying a Blue widget SOMEWHERE ELSE and then using my page as a reference to better understand the blue widget they just bought.

Thanks in advance.

(P.S. I have tried EVERYTHING to get visitors who land on my information page to convert into shoppers on my ecommerce page, and it has not worked at all. I even tried monetizing that page with adwords and that hasn't worked, either.)
10:34 pm on Dec 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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coming AFTER buying a Blue widget SOMEWHERE ELSE and then using my page as a reference to better understand the blue widget they just bought.

If they've already bought one, they're not going to turn around and buy another one from a different site, even if the second site is better. So isn't this a textbook case of behavior whose primary effect is to annoy the user?
11:12 pm on Dec 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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isn't this a textbook case of behavior whose primary effect is to annoy the user?


I didn't get round to posting what I intended to say earlier, but it would not have been quite as succinct.

Besides asking what harm it can do, ask what good it would do.
3:47 am on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@ wilburforce:

"Besides asking what harm it can do, ask what good it would do."


Well, at the very least, it would get my products in front of their faces.

@ Lucy24:

"So isn't this a textbook case of behavior whose primary effect is to annoy the user?"

Yeah, it probably is.

But at this point, since THOSE users who go to THAT page don't convert anyway, I sit around asking myself if I even care if the users get annoyed. That page just gets me a lot of useless traffic.
10:37 am on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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That page just gets me a lot of useless traffic.


I should point out that I am familiar with your predicament: my own site has a well-regarded information section that has almost no direct effect on sales, and the information section has survived Google's assaults since 2012 far better than the commercial section. I also recognise that there comes a time when immediate sales become a matter of urgency: there is no point in planning for the longer-term if your business has failed before then.

However, using the information section to stick your products in front of people's faces is obvious misdirection and manipulation. Google will see it, so will your visitors, and you really should care whether they get annoyed: everybody that enters your showroom is a potential customer, and the better their experience the more likely they are both to become customers and to recommend you to others. The information section is still one of your site's strengths, and trying to do something else with it - even in the short-term - may well turn it into a weakness: if you treat all visitors to your showroom as useless unless they buy something you will probably just discourage visitors in the short-term, and lose sales in the longer-term.

I don't know your site or your business (and always disregard the frequent unsolicited advice I get from "SEO consultants" who don't know mine), so I haven't the least idea what will be of real help, but misdirecting visitors and not caring whether you annoy them are fundamental Things To Avoid.
4:53 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thank you, Wilburfoce.

Just incredibly frustrated.
10:19 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Option B is to put the information pages in an area that's only accessible to people who have already purchased. Position it as a positive, "We Service What We Sell" or "Unlimited Technical Support" type of thing.
10:58 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@ Lucy24:

I like your out-of-the-box thinking.

i am not sure that I will be able to implement it with our exact business model, but I thank you for at least coming up with some food for thought for me.
11:30 pm on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If you're going to annoy them anyway, might as well just paste the products (with links to the cart) all over the information page.

But yea, you've been carping about that information page for a long time. If it's getting your nerves that much, make it for buyer's only, or cut it in half and say they'll get get full access with purchase.
12:33 am on Dec 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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" If it's getting your nerves that much, make it for buyer's only, or cut it in half and say they'll get get full access with purchase."


I like that idea!
11:33 am on Dec 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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you've been carping about that information page for a long time
Planet13, if I remember correctly, this page and your site go back many years, and were also discussed in Supporters. My opinion, I forget when, after I'd last seen the site was that you needed to work on product presentation, and also to consider price and uniqueness of your product line. I really think that that's where your site was failing at the time.

I haven't looked at the site in quite a while, and I'll try to keep this general enough that it's helpful for anyone, whether they've seen your site or not... but as I remember it, the widgets you sell were not commonly available when you started selling them. By the time of discussion, though, they'd become much more commonly available in metropolitan areas, and at prices cheaper than yours, and I think you might have been ignoring those market realities.

Additionally, as I remember, the market had become large enough that it was also becoming clearly segmented (and I'm exemplifying these examples, so they may not apply directly to you), but I was seeing the market divided among, say, well-made mass market widgets, antique collectible widgets, and faux antique widgets.

As I remember your site, you were selling well-made mass market widgets that could be used in a practical and decorative way in home and garden, but your site wasn't doing what it needed to do to make that kind of widget appealing enough to buy online. I think you needed to show how one might use a well-made mass market widget of the type you were selling, with pictures of it around the home, in the garden, wherever.

Beyond words about history of widgets, or how yours were manufactured, I felt that you needed drop-dead-gorgeous visuals, the kind that might be shared on Pinterest, of your widgets in use... with enough descriptive text on your site to describe those pictures both to your visitors and to a semi-blind, barely intelligent but statistically-aware machine named Google. It's a tough tight-rope walk right now.

What I remember instead from your site, and from many other ecommerce sites I see having difficulty, is a grid of products, with photos that looked like "wanted" posters... serving for identification, but not expressing tactile qualities or other differentiation among the products.

Other types of products of course might have other priorities, but this is what I'm thinking you might be missing right now from your widget presentation... assuming, ie, that the price is OK. This doesn't answer your immediate question for this season, but I think that lucy24 and Wilburforce are absolutely right that you don't gain anything by annoying the user.

If it's getting your nerves that much, make it for buyer's only, or cut it in half and say they'll get get full access with purchase.
I rarely disagree with netmeg, but I do in this situation. I don't think that you are conceivably going to gain sales, which is what you want, by withholding information and offering access only after purchase. I wouldn't let emotional frustration push me anywhere near that idea.
8:23 pm on Dec 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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by withholding information and offering access only after purchase

That's why I said "position it as a positive". Don't give any hint of "nuh-uh, this is off limits until you give us money". Instead, if-and-only-if someone in fact does give you money, then it's "wow! look at all this great extra information!" Of course the pages would have to be noindexed, so people would never know about them unless they're customers. But in the long term the pages might not even need to be behind a paywall.
1:02 am on Dec 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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by withholding information and offering access only after purchase


Quite a lot of goods and service suppliers have site sections that are only accessible to account holders (or to purchasers on registration of their product), and I don't have any particular objection to it as a purchaser of those goods or services. As Lucy24 puts it, "position it as a positive": it isn't so much penalising general users as offering added value to purchasers. I don't even think it needs to be hidden, as long as whatever is there actually adds value (so it isn't a disappointment to anyone who gains access by buying something): I upgraded a ferry ticket a couple of years ago that allowed me access to a worse lounge than the unrestricted one.
10:22 am on Dec 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Dilemma I see faced by Planet13 is that he might in fact be "cannibalizing" his core two-word keyword phrase with an information article that can't really work as a product category page... but also isn't sending any buyers that stick to his "sales" pages.

I think, though, that dropping the information article would be a big mistake because right now it ranks and pulls in visitors. I'm also thinking that the product pages by themselves probably wouldn't rank. Also, when I saw the article some years back, it was about the historical background of these widgets, containing some information a buyer might want to know before buying a widget, not after.

As I consider the many threads we've had trying to deal with this, it seems that the major search strategy of the site has been a convoluted approach that's focused on hiding any commercial intent of the site... not wanting to lose the "informational" ranking... rather than on discreetly enhancing the tangible (and commercial) appeal of the widgets that the site should be displaying in its gallery, in motivational and how-to-use articles, and also on its product pages.

Maybe it's not that there's too much information. It may be that there's not enough that relates to how a buyer might use the product, and it's not leading visitors to want to explore the inventory and to buy. I don't know that these are impulse purchases. It may be that you plant seeds in a prospect's mind, and they explore the web and keep coming back to you because you've aroused an interest and offered the most exciting and imaginative ideas and articles and photographs of how and why to choose to use these.

Perhaps some kind of a "conversion funnel" is in order. Perhaps this apparently simple purchase isn't nearly so simply. Anyway, I'm tossing it out there. Way back, we talked about the mechanics of the site. Maybe more talk is needed about the experience.