Friday, September 21, 2012

DON'T DO IT!!!!!

Perhaps it's just that I am getting older and crankier, but I doubt it.

I've been seeing this all over the Internet lately, and I have to say:



An example: At Pinterest, there was a post touting "186 DIY Christmas Gifts." Now, what creative, financially conscious, crafty sort of person WOULDN'T want to see that, especially with the attractive candy canes as the "come on" photo accompanying the link? (The canes looked like they'd been dipped in white chocolate and nonpareils and wrapped in a red-and-white stiped box... very appealing, visually speaking.)

Anyway, so I click the link from the Pinterest post to go directly to the blog. On the linked page, the DIY content was broken up into sections of 30 crafts, accompanied by collage-style photographs of more attractive crafts. Okay... where are the details? Where is the content?


Under the collage photos were links that said, "To learn how to do these crafts, click here."

My blood's simmering at this point, but I click. Do you know what I found?!?!?

A page EXACTLY like the last,  including collage photos and links that SUPPOSEDLY led to the instructions for the freaking crafts.

Blood is beginning to boil, but I click. Can you guess what I found?!?!?!

A list of blog posts to which I would have to click to SUPPOSEDLY get to the content.

But you can probably guess what I did instead of clicking.

I closed the damned window, because there is no way that I have time to sift through thousands of blog posts to find the content I came to the blog to find in the first place.

And this, my dear readers, is a classic example of creating content people want and then FREAKING BURYING IT beneath layers and layers and layers of "organization." Don't get me wrong: I am all for organizing your content into something you can manage on the back end... but don't forget that your readers still have to be able to FIND that content.

And, make no mistake: Most people WILL NOT click more than three times to get to your article. And right there, you have lost your audience. And they're probably not coming back.

Another reason people link content in this fashion is to get the most "bang" out of it via page impression advertising. These people aren't interested in whether users actually find their content, read it, click on ads, find the article useful, or even share it with their friends. ALL they care about is the advertiser's pay check when the total reaches $20. That's it... or, at least, that's how I see it.

Because, if these blog designers and social linkers actually gave a good-golly-gosh-darn about the readers, when they linked their content from Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter or wherever, THE LINK WOULD GO TO THE ACTUAL CONTENT... NOT another stupid page listing links to the damned content.

This "at least three clicks to content" mentality is even worse when your site is selling something. Like I said, I understand the need for back-end organization, but you have to stop thinking like you and start thinking like your customers would think. Do you think that your customers are REALLY going to want to click on "Products" and then one subcategory, and then another, and then another, and then ANOTHER before they get to the product page of the item they want to buy.


No, your customers NEED your site to be simply organized so that they can spend their hard-earned purchasing dollars at your site and not your competitor's.

But, honestly, your competitor's site is probably designed with the same tectonic plate structure of subcategorized obsfucation, so it will hardly matter, anyway, when they go buy the Chinese knock-off at Wal*Mart.

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