Return to: GROK Dot Com 5/01/2001

GROK Case Study 3: AdZe.com
Lost in Cyber-Space

Welcome to AdZe.com, a case study that shows how improving your navigation and helping your customers sail through your site not only gets them what they want, but gets you what you want.

Who Is Adze.com?

AdZe.com was launched in 1995 by AdZe MiXXe, Astrologer Extraordinaire. AdZe was an accomplished astrologer and writer who had a great enthusiasm for the Internet. Together with his partner and graphic designer, Gwenn Knapp, they managed to build a wonderful astrology site. Sadly, he passed away in the summer of 1997. However, Gwenn and another friend, John Derrickson, joined forces in 1999, and decided to follow AdZe’s wishes and maintain the site. They have built the site to over 1,000 pages and close to 1 million pageviews each month (with a staff of only two!).

Presenting Challenge

Gwenn told me that her presenting challenge was to “increase product sales.” But, as is often the case, there was a lot more to the story.

GROK Identified Primary Issues

One look at her old home page <http://www.adze.com/index-old.html> and I was overwhelmed with what I call “Paralysis of Analysis” - so many choices I couldn’t choose anything at all.

· The home page was way too busy.

· It took way too long to load.

· I couldn’t figure out where to go next. Major navigation problem!

Creating Persuasive Navigation

The key to driving people where you want them to go is to understand what they want and where they think they want to go. In my navigation article <http://www.grokdotcom.com/navigationdesign.htm> I discussed many types of navigation. You may want to check it out to get a good understanding of navigation options.

Here is what the folks at Future Now <http://www.futurenowinc.com> and I did to help AdZe.com <http://www.adze.com>:

1. Simple Navigation - We removed her ‘iconic’ and ‘cryptic’ navigation and turned most of the links into simple text links that anybody could understand right away.

2. How Newbies Search - I’m pretty new to this Earthly horoscope stuff, but at least I was aware I’m the Martian equivalent of an Aries, so that’s where I felt I needed to go. So the “Sun Signs” links needed to be very obvious. And by the way, Gwenn told me that, according to her logs, these are the most popular areas of the site.

3. They’re Hot! You’re Hot! - The next most popular area is the celebrity Horoscopes. I was amazed at how many people actually follow Madonnas’ stars. (Hey, Gwenn, when do I get featured there? <grin>) So, we put some of the most popular celebrity links right below the general daily horoscopes.

4. Driving Traffic - Join me as I surf the new and improved AdZe site. I go to the home page, see the very familiar (and most important to me) word ‘Aries’ and I click on it. I read my horoscope and, as soon as I am done, I see a “call to action.” It is an invitation for a free personal daily horoscope based on my birth date, place and time.

5. There even are secondary calls to action: a choice of checking out another sign or seeing how I would match-up with a mate. I can even fill out a simple form and get a personalized Cosmic Greeting. (Made me feel right at home!)

6. Sales - Gwenns’ ultimate goal is to upsell from the free reports to the more advanced reports. Therefore, she has added a call to action at the bottom of the free daily personal horoscope which invites users to upgrade to the more comprehensive suite of reports.

They’ve Only Just Begun

Gwenn and John are still redesigning the rest of the pages, but there are numerous positive results already. The new site has already seen a 7% increase in overall pageviews, including a 40% increase for the Sun Signs, 50% for Madonnas’ Horoscope, and a whopping 95% for the Celebrity Directory. Along with all of this, sales have (ta daaaa) doubled! Yup, doubled. And this is just the beginning. I can’t wait to see the numbers when they’re finished implementing all the improvements, and neither can they!

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