OuterBox’s eCommerce Blog
When your email box starts filling up with spam from robots filling out your online forms, such as a contact form, the first thing you’ll think to do is add a captcha to the page. Well I think that’s rude! So now when a visitor wants to contact you, or fill out a form for an estimate, they also have to strain to figure out 6 random swirling numbers and letters. Whatever happened to good usability and the best customer service? A captcha seems to me like some of the worst usability ever invented.
Research has been done to see how a forms conversion rate is affected when a captcha is on and when a captcha is off. Based on the article Captchas’ Affect on Conversion Rates by SEOmoz.org, they suggest having a captcha will result in 3.2% less leads. These stats are not surprising to me and if the form is a lead generations form it could end up in your company’s revenue down by 3+%. That’s not a chance I’d be willing to take them there are other options out there.
What are other options?
On our website we’ve had issues with spam form submission via our free website estimate form, but we’ve found unique ways to stop the spam without using a captcha. I feel that should be the absolute last resort and not the first thing thought of. One way to counteract spam is to think about how the spam robots work. Spam robots look to fill out all of your form fields with fake content and then will submit the form. Often they’ll fill out all of the form fields because they are not sure which are mandatory and which are not. Sometimes certain fields like “name” and “phone” can have fake names and phone numbers, but for the most part is nonsense that is being submitted. What we did to fix the problem was add a form field that is hidden, but robots don’t know that it is hidden. Humans cannot see the form field and do not fill it out, but robots always will. If the form field is filled out we then write a script for that email to not be sent to us. Pretty simple and it still makes the form very easy for our potential clients to fill out.
All in all, whether a captcha or something else that might save your business time, I think it is always beneficial to think about alternatives that would best serve your website visitor. When doing SEO and online marketing, it’s very important to be sure usability to thought of first to keep leads and sales coming in! Make the most of your website visitors and give them the best experience possible!
Why Search Engine Marketing?
If your goal for your website is to have an address that you can put on a business card, then skip this part. However, if your website is to be a powerful, if not primary element in your company’s marketing plan (and it should be), SEM / SEO is not optional. If you don’t do it, you will be ignored. Invisible. You might as well build a sandbox in the desert because no one will find you and no one will care.
A junk website with great search visibility will always beat a great website that no one can find. Get both, and you win hands down.
SEO is not just a function of ranking well for a handful of phrases. Anyone can refer to Google’s recommendations for SEO strategy and, if they’re willing to do the work, can get rankings. It’s about visibility. Searchers are getting more and more sophisticated, as are the search engines. Ranking for a few big keywords isn’t necessarily going to do it for you. It’s creating a quality experience that ranks for a massive space of short and long phrases that these sophisticated searchers are using.
At OuterBox, we are all about your success, and that means conversions. Sales. Here, SEO consists of much more than search visibility. We get involved in the site. We look at how users interact with your site and make recommendations and changes to improve your sites sell through. We’ve even helped clients monitor incoming sales calls, and taught sales staff how to better handle the calls and streamline the process to help turn web driven leads into sales. There’s really no limit to how much we can help you win if you have the guts to run with us and do what it takes.
That’s what makes OuterBox different. You’re not getting a mere web company. You’re getting a team of experienced marketers, working in tandem, sharing information garnered from website metrics openly across multiple marketing platforms to improve results.
Where OuterBox shines is our ability and expertise in both design and SEM, integrated under one roof. I dare you to find a company that ranks better in our field AND has great designs. That’s because your site is built with the marketers involved. Right here. in house. So it’s right from the ground up.
Most companies are good at one thing. They do design. Or they do SEO. Or they do PPC. And just because they do good design doesn’t mean they do good eCommerce. So, you bounce around with two or three companies working on your site, hopeful they’re collaborating their efforts, are on the same page, and are implementing a cohesive strategy. I’d have to say, don’t hold your breath. Your company’s internet strategy is entirely too important to have holes in it. In fact, today, your internet strategy is everything. You know it, and I know it. Over the next 2-5 years nearly every industry will thrive or die based on how well it reaches it’s customers online, and how well it communicates with them once it reaches them.
The fast eat the slow. By the time we finish this video the rules can change, and the first on the field who understand the game wins. Can you keep pace? Not alone. You need help. From a team who lives eats and breathes this stuff. That’s OuterBox.