Note: Consistent with the issue’s focus on e-commerce/technology, this month’s Creative Cut focuses on a Web site.
Many niche marketers thrive on the Web. If you have a very specialized product or target market, you can build a successful online business that grows by word-of-mouth, search engine marketing, and, at times, small catalogs or print materials.
This requires a well-honed site that speaks directly to your market with a clear message that you’re an expert at what you do. The following is a look at ways FlagClothes.com could enhance its Web site to become the true leader in flag-based, patriotic products.
At a glace, your homepage must convey exactly what your site’s about. I don’t get that feeling from FlagClothes.com. My assumption is that its main goal is to sell products online — yet tabs to “Press Library,” “The Collection” and a banner to “Free Patriotic E-Cards” dilutes the center “Shop” tab and the subsequent category links below it. While additional content is useful for any Web site, having the “Press Library” in the most prominent tab isn’t necessary. It should be moved elsewhere.
The center of the site is dominated by a hard-to-read copy block. While useful for search engines, which love appropriate copy, this is just too much copy. People scan Web copy rather than read it. Also, avoid using reverse type and cluttered backgrounds on the Web.
A perfect Web page is a balancing act between images and graphics that help sell products and text that enhances search engine optimization. I’d suggest showing more products on the homepage to create visual clues to confirm what products this company is selling.
The e-mail sign-up is also misplaced on this page. Located in the upper-left corner, another prime spot, this can easily be confused for a product search, which is often found on the top of Web sites. Sure, gathering e-mails is important, but not at the top of the site — especially on a site that has no search!