Live Coverage: Mequoda Summit Session 3 – Generating Website Revenue

Multiple Business Models are Required to Maximize Online Revenue

In session three, entitled Generating Website Revenue, Don revealed that there are the 12 different types of business models, or “archetypes” that a publisher uses to make money online.

Don used this explanation for the reason behind sectioning your online strategy into separate archetypes. “By packing more functions and tasks into the user interface you are pushing down completion rate.” To find out your completion rate, Don suggested taking 10 users and having them complete about 5 tasks (sign up for email newsletter, find a certain article, etc.). This gives you 50 as 100% completion, with each task counting as 2 points.

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Don told the audience that the average website gets 52%, which is not a great number. He also revealed that users are 6x happier if they can find content on their own as opposed to searching for it with a search box.

“Would you buy a product if you could play with it in the store and it only did half the things it said it could do?” Don asked the audience. This same thought process goes for websites, how deeply engaged will a user get if they can’t do what they want to do?

This is where Don explained that the following archetypes are made to simplify tasks for the user. Each archetype has its own set of tasks made explicitly for each archetype therefore reducing the amount of tasks on any one website.

Below we’ll show how you might implement it on your own website (in brackets), and an example of a single existing independent example below that.

  1. Internet Hub (Example: a constantly updated and content-rich portal that is free)
    1. About.com
  2. Social Network (Example: a forum or a place for user-generated content)
    1. LinkedIn.com
  3. Online Magazine (Example: a linear issue-based online magazine)
    1. monkeymag.co.uk
  4. Search Engine (Example: a search box)
    1. Business.com
  5. Directory Website (Example: an about or glossary page)
    1. Superpages.com
  6. Lead Generation Website (Example: a “Free Reports” tab)
    1. LendingTree.com
  7. Classified Website (Example: a job board)
    1. Monster.com
  8. Book Website (Example: a book store with individual landing pages)
    1. BabyModelingSuccess.com
  9. Catalog Website (Example: a marketplace selling multiple types of products with a shopping cart)
    1. Amazon.com
  10. Event Website (Example: a single event page with daughter pages)
    1. SearchEngineStrategies.com
  11. Newsletter Website (Example: a newsletter archive)
    1. GolfOdyssey.com
  12. Membership Website (Example: a library of content)
    1. ConsumerReports.com

Don explained that even the largest publishers won’t use half of these archetypes. Websites like Boston.com have several “Internet Hubs”, decided by audience (Sports, A&E, Travel, Weather), but only use two other archetypes (Classified and Search Engine). The benefit to knowing all of these archetypes is seeing where you have the opportunity to grow.

Valuable tools that Don mentioned during this session:

Yahoo! Site Explorer – Find out how many inbound links you have
Compete.com – Find out your visitors, how many pages they view, and how long they stay.
Web Usability for Senior Citizens – A report by Norman Neilson Group recommended because as Don explained, what works for older people will work for younger people. The only difference is the look and feel that users will appreciate.
Don’t Make Me Think – a book by Steve Krug on Website Usability

Mequoda Summit Coverage

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