Thursday, July 19, 2007

Using the MWR (Most Wanted Response) to Get Action

Why isn’t anyone buying anything?

This is a complaint I hear a lot. People call me and say, “I’m getting traffic to my site, but nobody’s buying!”

Usually, that breaks down into one of two problems. Maybe the traffic that comes to the site isn’t pre-qualified, meaning that the visitors are driven by more general advertising, or ads that don’t make the product of the site clear. In other words, they arrive at the site without a clear idea of what they’re there for. Once they arrive, they see what’s at the site, and then most of them bail. Or, maybe the site itself isn’t designed to convert, meaning that when customers arrive, they’re not impressed, not convinced, or they’re actually turned off.

Let’s take a look at the latter circumstance today.

What’s it for?

One of the big problems that can cause this problem is that when the visitor arrives at a site, they’re hit with a lot of confusing options. Click here for this, click there for that! What’s a shopper to do?

That shows what is often an underlying problem in the site (or maybe even in the business), that being that the site owner doesn’t really know what he/she wants the customer to do. There are so many options. Click in and buy something, sign up for the mailing list, enter a contest, read the content, etc…

Let’s look at an example. How about Go ahead. Click on the link. I’ll be right here when you get back.

There are lots of things you can do at Google. You can find pictures and video clips, you can look at maps, or groups. You can set up your own Google account. You can find out about how to advertise on Google. Still, right smack in the middle, right under the big colorful log is the search bar. These other things may be cool, and they sure want you to check them out, but most of all, they want you to do a web search. That is their “Most Wanted Response” (MWR).

The MWR?

Of all the things you could do at Google, the one that they want you to focus on the most is basic web searching. Why? I don’t know for sure, but I’ll bet it has something to do with their core function and their ability to easily sell ads.

You can easily identify their MWR because it’s by far the most prominent feature on their site. Are other features ignored? No, they just don’t take up as much “prime screen real estate” as searching, their MWR.

By way of contrast, take a look at See if it’s as easy to identify their MWR. I’ll wait…

The difference is pretty staggering, isn’t it? Guess which one is the #1 used search engine? That’s right—Google is. By a long shot.

How do I do that?

Well, first it takes some thinking and deciding. Step one is to brainstorm out all of the possible responses someone can have to your main page. Let me throw out some examples:

  1. Read some of your content articles
  2. Shop through your catalog
  3. Buy a product
  4. Sign up for your contest or your newsletter
  5. Tell a friend about the site
  6. Leave the site to go somewhere else
  7. And many more and more ideas…

After you’ve spent a while thinking of all the possibilities, then take some time to prioritize them. Sometimes, the most obvious one might not necessarily be your main one. For example, someone might assume that “Buy a Product” should be the clear choice. But what if you want to establish a mailing list for the long haul, or establish yourself as an authority in your field first? Both are valid business strategies. In the first case, you’d choose the contest or the newsletter, and in the second, the articles and content.

Once those points are prioritized, you’ll be easily able to see which one is your Most Wanted Response

Then rewrite and revise

Once that’s determined, then it’s time to re-assess your main page. The MWR should get the biggest focus, the most screen real estate, and the highest listing in your navigation buttons. It should draw the most attention.

Don’t ignore the other possibilities, though. You still put them on the site, but with less and less focus. Some of the responses might be so trivial that you might not even place them on the main page.

Don’t ignore the sub-pages, either. Include prominent links to your MWR in the subpages as well.

With a clear and compelling focus on your Most Wanted Response, you’re sure to get more people engaging it!

Mark is the co-director of, the search marketing consulting arm of Clickincome ( Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

1 comment:

  1. nice website
    very informative