Neanderthal web, man

Scientists in the US will soon be able to do the unthinkable and regenerate extinct species like Neanderthals and Mammoths. This is done by building a map of the DNA and then re-engineering the DNA in an embryo or egg.

Crazy stuff! Ethically I’m not sure where I stand so long as it doesn’t have anything to do with Jeff Goldblum wearing huge glasses and talking balony.

It made me think about regenerating websites. How exactly do you work out that your website is the equivalent of a Neanderthal, hard working but simple and notvery smart.

Bounce rates

If people come to your website or landing pages and exit then there’s a fair chance they don’t what you’re offering and why they should take up the offer.

Traffic sources

If you have a higher ratio of paid search traffic than organic search traffic then you need to focus on your organic ranking for the search terms that convert.

Visit length

If I come and stay at your house for a long time, it’s probably because I like you and enjoy it. It’s the same with your website, visit length is a nice indicator of visitor engagement. If you have a low average site visit your website may not be offering enough reasons to hang around. If you have a high conversion and low visit length, then you’re doing something right.

A busy homepage

Is you homepage like a busy cave? If you try and put everything on your homepage then you will very likely have a low conversion. Target your visitors and create scent trails. Don’t confuse them.

Forgetful

I suspect a neanderthal would have had trouble remembering names of clan members. A good website ‘knows’ its visitors either through good analytics and intelligence or hard work. If you sell shoes and a buyer arrives from a search engine having searched for mens shoes show them the mens shoes.

No testing

If you still choose layouts because you like the way it looks then you may be at risk of becoming extinct. All digital assets should be chosen based on evidence accumulated from tests you’ve run and customer research. If fuscia works best then use fuscia.

The homo sapiens species prospered because we adapted and learnt. In much the same way, having a successful website is about learning continually. Just because you’re successful today does not mean you will be successful tomorrow.

What do you think?