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Your Website is Stupid

WRITTEN by: Bill Sterzenbach |
categories: Interactive

Oct 2013


3 Ways to Determine Your Website's IQ


There, I said it. Let’s not mince words, when someone is behaving in a way that indicates a lack of applied learning, we generally refer to this as “stupid”. Stupidity is almost exclusively ascribed to behavior rather than capacity for thought. As a father (and former child), I can certainly attest to the fact that well-designed, intelligent people can sometimes behave in a very stupid manner. This means that one must “act stupid” to be considered stupid. This certainly applies to websites as well.

Is your website behaving stupidly?

Everything is getting smarter. It seems that you can’t buy a car, appliance, or device that doesn’t boast of its smart-ness. In fact, if you really look, you’d be shocked at what they are calling “smart” today. I’ve seen smart toasters, smart fridges—and goodness yes—even smart toilets. With all of this smartness around us, I’m at a loss as to why we’re giving our websites a pass on their underachiever attitudes.

We’ve Identified the Problem, Let the Healing Begin

Your website may be built well, and it may have been built with the best of intentions, but if it’s acting stupidly, let’s acknowledge it and get an action plan in order. How do you know if your website is stupid? Well, let’s take a look at the three best ways to identify whether your website needs an “aptitude adjustment.”

Does your website learn from its mistakes?

Are you able to determine where your website is weak and where it needs to improve? Does your website provide you with the information you need to make decisions on how to improve? If not, your website cannot learn from its mistakes.

  1. Start with a simple automated analytics report that shows common “page not found” errors
  2. Create a schedule to fix them


Does your website bring suggestions to you?

Does your website tell you when things go well and give you opportunities to build on these strengths?

  1. Create a conversion report showing the most common paths, keywords, and referrals to conversions
  2. Build on it by creating more keyword-rich content that bring great visitors, and be sure to nurture relationships with referring sites that send quality visitors


Does your website adapt to its surroundings?

Does your website change based on user input or behavior? There are multiple technologies available that allow your site to adapt to its surroundings; Upward’s Websites That Think technology is one of them.

  1. Identify areas where your site could adapt to visitor behavior or input
  2. Create the technology needed to adapt to these inputs or behaviors


Intelligence Must Be Applied Passively


Great news! You have identified a few ways to wise-up your website. Be careful how you apply this knowledge, as it can quickly become annoying or just plain creepy. We recommend that you apply your insights passively with “at risk” navigation or with customized imagery. Very small but smart changes based on visitor behavior can have enormous impact on visitor stay and conversion rates.

Visitor Engagement Through Adaptive Experience

By simply changing the main masthead image of a landing page, we’ve seen over 40% improvements in bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who arrive at a page and immediately leave). For example, if your website knows a visitor arrived from a page or keyword that relates to a specific industry or need, your site should adjust the imagery to help the visitor feel “at home”. The image can offer navigation that takes the visitor directly to their destination as well. This is much better than “confronting” the visitor with their visit information.

Let's Get Started

If you'd like to increase your website's IQ, start small. Try creating a few industry-specific landing pages and monitor the results. Once you experience the potential return on the effort, start planning for the technology upgrades needed to make it happen.

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