February 10, 2009

The Why Not? Test. Why Google rates those boring terms & privacy pages

Writing about web page http://www.wmccm.co.uk/WMCCM/StaticContent/AboutWMCCM.aspx

Over five years ago, back at the launch of the CCM site, I was frustrated at the time taken to create the Terms & Privacy words.
Over the years, as we turned the portal into an automatic conversions pipeline generating over 200 sign-ups per month I became thankful of our well drafted terms and how this helped the team deal with some strange requests and comments.

Recently I have come to see that Google too ranks these boring but necessary pieces of legal text. I ran Adwords on a series of simple websites for different markets for a real entrepreneur. These were actually only single, simple, landing page sites but with pro-forma terms, privacy, disclaimer & site map pages. These other pages did not even have titles but the landing pages all ranked 9/10, Adwords Quality Score, for keywords on the landing page.

Working with other more complex e-commerce sites I have been performing Why Not? tests. Checking for all the reasons, the doubts, questions in a visitor’s mind that could prevent them going on down the conversion pipeline. Google has been observing conversion behaviour too and found that most customers checked out one or two other pages the first time they bought from a site. I always look at returns policy, where they are and who their delivery partners are. So Google’s Quality Scores are based on the landing page and the pages within a click or two of it on your site.

So I have been creating privacy pages etc. on my site. But I have taken another lesson from our CCM experience. The Ethos section of CCM’s unique competency profiles, when written well accurately describing what the company is like to deal with, actually helps to convert to customers. If the client has a similar ethos finds this confirmed then trust is built in the rest of these independent profiles.
These profiles have peen proven to be excellent referrals and to have led to over £5 million of sales.

So I have tried to capture our ethos in these required pages and to educate and explain as well as pass the legal test. Actually I have not had these reviewed by the family lawyer so they may yet get more boring!


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