I've always been puzzled by one fact I see in our web logs, namely that 63% of people who visit www.magnatune.com leave within 30 seconds.
Are they coming for some other reason than to listen to music? Do they not like what the home page says? Are they not interested in what the site offers? Is the home page unclear about what's being offered?
Here is how our site visitors break down, based on length of visit:
It's probably fair to guess that all our sales come from the 18% who stay 5 minutes or more. That's not a very efficient use of the visitor traffic that comes to our site!
As I mentioned previously, I'm reading the book "Don't make me think" and it occurred to me that people might not know, from the home page, what the site is going to do for them. They can "explore a genre" -- what does that mean? There are new releases... ok... There's that long paragraph at the bottom, that I'm sure few people read.
"We are not evil, "Internet music without the guilt" and "Magnatune, the open music record label" are probably all too clever for the new visitor, who is wondering "what does this site do? why should I stay?"
Here's what the current top section of the home page currently looks like:
The "internet music without the guilt" slogan is speaking to the guilt you (theoretically) feel by downloading music from peer-to-peer services, a russian download site, or perhaps supporting the (evil) major labels represented on the "legitimate" download services. Problem is, I don't think most people get that, and even if they do, I'm not sure here's that much guilt around. It's just me being too clever.
"The open music record label" is similarly problematic: it refers to "open source" ideals, but that's vague, and it's not clear what the user's payoff is from that, anyway.
So, I'm trying a new approach: clearly saying what the "great reason to stay at this site" is, namely that you can listen to music all you want, and choose to buy stuff once you 100% know you love it. That's reflected in the new home page, that is up as of now:
Hopefully, this change makes it clear that the Magnatune web site is about "listening, and then eventually buying" and that the genres below are to help you choose something to listen to.
I'm going to be watching that 63% number, and seeing if my changes are encouraging more people to stay a few minutes longer.