Join thousands of weekly readers and receive practical marketing advice for FREE.
MarketingSherpa's Case Studies, New Research Data, How-tos, Interviews and Articles

Enter your email below to join thousands of marketers and get FREE weekly newsletters with practical Case Studies, research and training, as well as MarketingSherpa updates and promotions.


Please refer to our Privacy Policy and About Us page for contact details.

No thanks, take me to MarketingSherpa

First Name:
Last Name:
Jan 29, 2001
Case Study Grows Traffic 20% Monthly by Focusing on Visitor-Centric Design

SUMMARY: No summary available.

When two-year old site hired new VP Sales and Marketing Dennis James in June 2000, he had a clear-cut goal: to increase traffic 15-20% a month. was trying to get attention with a moderate budget in a noisy, competitive, marketplace. However, James knew his target audience, larger small businesses with an average $200,000 Web site budget, was highly influenced by personal referrals. He explains, "There's a Wow Factor; i.e., 'Wow! I gotta tell Bob about this!'" James decided to focus on this Wow Factor and hope the rest would follow.


James used several guerrilla tactics to find out what his target audience really wanted in a Web site like, and then redesigned the site to match their desires.

Luckily the site itself ran an email discussion group on the topic of great Web design. James "read between the lines" for ideas on how to improve for his audience as they openly discussed the design preferences. He says, "For example, we learned to put the newsletter sign-up in a consistent place on every page where people can see it. You know when you look at it, what it is and we call it what it is. Also we reduced images and kept access fast, and redesigned our home page to be more like a table of contents."

James also learned what users wanted, "by just asking them." The feedback he got from emailing a group of users to ask for their opinions convinced him that the Web site's navigational paths needed to become more obvious. He says, "We brought all the information to the surface so people can take a look and make decisions about where to go without having to dive in two-three levels deep." James and's design team also added navigational tools on the home page to allow visitors to search by topics such as Web design or by what he calls "How-tos" such as how to make money.

Last but not least, James carefully analyzed the site's traffic logs to find out exactly which topics and how-tos were the most popular (and which the least.) He says, "Getting started is the one of the number one click throughs on the site." As new content was created, James made sure it matched the most popular areas.


James says, "The redesign made a stunning difference for the site. We tripled the number of pages users visited and doubled the amount of time they spent on the site. Plus we have a high number of people who come back."

With the help of's in-house design team, James met his goal of 15-20% traffic growth per average month.'s total traffic as of January 2001 was about half a million visitors a month. The site's email newsletter subscriber lists have swollen to 170,000 opt-in subscribers.

NOTE: James is interested in talking partnerships with "any kinds of companies that are interested in contacting small business people who have a technical understanding. If you have products and services that can help those people, then it makes sense to do business!" Potential partners can contact him at
See Also:

Post a Comment

Note: Comments are lightly moderated. We post all comments without editing as long as they
(a) relate to the topic at hand,
(b) do not contain offensive content, and
(c) are not overt sales pitches for your company's own products/services.

To help us prevent spam, please type the numbers
(including dashes) you see in the image below.*

Invalid entry - please re-enter

*Please Note: Your comment will not appear immediately --
article comments are approved by a moderator.

Improve Your Marketing

Join our thousands of weekly Case Study readers.

Enter your email below to receive MarketingSherpa news, updates, and promotions:

Note: Already a subscriber? Want to add a subscription?
Click Here to Manage Subscriptions

Best of the Week:
Marketing case studies and research

Chart Of The Week

B2B Marketing

Consumer Marketing

Email marketing

Inbound Marketing

SherpaStore Alerts


We value your privacy and will not rent or sell your email address. Visit our About Us page for contact details.