Site review: 2famo.us (usability)

Hello,

In this blog post I analyze the web site: 2famo.us.

Contents

A. General web site analysis (elements that can be applied to many pages)
A1. Idea generation
A2. Copywriting
A3. Design
A4. SEO (search engine optimization) analysis – basic tips
A5. Structure of information
A6. Usability
B. Analysis of the main elements in the homepage (cutting the homepage into pieces)
B1. Header
B2. Main content
B3. Sidebar
B4. Footer
C. Analysis of web site pages (the most important pages of the web site, analyzed separately)
C1. Advertisers page
C2. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page
C3. About us page
C4. Registration page
C5. A random web site profile
D. Conclusions

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A. General web site analysis (elements that can be applied to many pages)

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A1. Idea generation

This blog post was written with the main aim of generating some ideas for the web site; here goes:
1. I’ll start by a comparison between this web site and some major web sites (and thus, business models):
a. Google AdWords
The main revenue source of Google; very complex to use, there are dedicated courses in using it, there are people whose jobs is solely to put ads on Google; very clear motivation to get into (you pay => you get traffic);
How do you compare with it: your web site, in the current form, brings you no money; that’s a bit suspicious; why would I trust a web site which doesn’t make money out of itself? What do you want from me? Oh, you want me to come back daily and do a click; still, the extra traffic brings you no extra money; I would understand if you asked me money, asked me to do something to help you get traffic (and please, do consider that my time invested in clicking your web site daily is very expensive; I would much rather pay dollars than invest my time daily for visits; it’s also a very frustrating task – each day, boring; surely, you have copied some of Google’s complexity; very complicated system, hard to grasp; I don’t see what my motivation should be for visiting you; why should I invest my time to get no visits out of it? I’ve seen web sites with zero site profiles view and 10 displays on the homepage; now that’s discouraging;
b. Million Dollar Homepage
You know the story – a guy creates a page with a million pixels, sells a space of 10×10 pixels for 100 dollars;
They – have received a lot of traffic; created a lot of buzz offline (are famous); can bring their clients a lot of traffic; costs to be used;
You, on the other hand: don’t provide information about your traffic (which is a bit strange, considering that this should be the main motivator); are nowhere to be found on Google even for your own name (see below); despite being called “Famous”, actually, if there is such a thing, you are “Too famous”, well, despite this, you are rather unknown (104 results displayed on Google for your domain name, out of a total of only 2,010 results – quite like the year, heh?); you are free to use; you do require for an action from the user, but it’s an illogical requirement – it’s like asking the viewer to make a photo each day with an apple on his head; sure, he can do this, but why? It brings you no extra traffic, you don’t get famous with this action;
Let me develop on this, because this is important – the persons who use your web site have an expensive time; don’t make them waste their time for an extra visit to your web site; ask for money; with this money you can get some Google AdWords, or do SEO, or a banner campaign, and drive traffic to the web site; now that’s an incentive; want to keep it free? Force the companies who want to enter your system do something: invite 10 friends via email to join your system; for each friend, they get some points; or make them promote their page on Facebook, and for each “Like” they receive, the receive some points on your web site; or for each ReTweet they’ve got, they get points; or make your visitors a badge – “This is X web site on 2Famo.us; we’re soooooooooo über good”; and make them put that badge on the homepage; still want to make it free? No action like these required? First of all, get rid of the current action, it’s a non-sense; in a world of automating things, you should ask for manual tasks; then use the word “Free” more obvious; put it in your logo; write it bigger; then explain why do you do it for free; put it in the “About” section; what do you get out of “Free”; then, focus on delivering results; you know, the cost of entry in your system is really not that relevant; if it’s free, if it’s 1,000 dollars per day, if it forces me to put a big banner on every page of that web site, that doesn’t matter; what it does matter is what do I get of this; what will you bring me?
I’ll develop on this some more – you currently offer nothing; you have a web site that seems deserted; being at the beginning it would have been better – you had an excuse; now you’re a fully launched web site with no conversion, no visitors turning into repeating visitors; people don’t come back, they don’t promote your web site; this is what you should get – visitors who visit your web site and click on those banners; I am a visitor of your web site; I have visited your web site quite a lot these days; what’s my feeling:
- You offer me nothing; you tell me (and scare me a bit by forcing things) that each day a new set of web sites will be on the homepage; why, why on Earth would I want to see any of those web sites? Do you offer me some reasons? Are they chosen web sites? Do I get a reward from visiting them? Are they great web sites? Do others than their owners recommend them? If I say a site is worthless, will you get it out of your system? I have no reason to visit some web sites which: aren’t editorially chosen, are nothing special, can appear on the list of top sites by doing some clicks each day and that’s it;
- The idea of voting is great; unfortunately, you do it poorly; if you want your web site to be a collection of top web sites, then the ones who should tell you about this are the users; if a site owner visits 2famo.us each day or not – this doesn’t matter; on the other hand, if 100 visitors give a 5 star rating to a web site – now that’s something; unfortunately, there are some problems with this: the idea of a list of top web sites voted by viewers isn’t new (Digg, Delicious, Stumble Upon, Reddit, to give just a few top examples); then your cost of entry (registration by the web site owner) is big (it’s really complicated to submit a web site, it should be really simple – no registration, just submit an URL and you should fetch description and title from the web site); finally, most of the top web sites have a much cooler solution for marking a web site as nice (for me to tell you that a web site is great, I have to: create account with captcha, click on confirmation web site, add web site with captcha, send it to others to vote; on any of the top web sites for recommending web sites to others it’s usually either a browser plugin, or a simple bookmarklet; that’s it; compare the two);
- Your most important asset are your viewers; unfortunately, you give all the options to the advertisers, nothing to the viewers; the viewers can’t create an account, for voting it’s a total mess, they can’t visit a web site without first seeing the web site profile, and the whole web site is built with the advertisers in mind, not with the viewers on top of mind; all the help, all the information, everything is for the advertisers;
- You can’t have a community if: an user can’t register, when leaving a comment you don’t even care to know what the user’s name is, users don’t have profiles; a social networks presence would only help in building a better community, but you lack this fully;
c. Twitter – I think this is the model you resemble the most, and yet you are so far from it;
Twitter has – a community; options for making my page really my own; a simple web site (more complex with the latest update);
Twitter is free and helps my web site with traffic and social ranking;
2famous.com – doesn’t have a community of neither advertisers (people submitting web sites, like on Twitter), nor users (the Twitter followers of advertisers); on your web site I can’t really personalize too much, but this is relatively minor; more important is the complexity of your web site, which shouldn’t be; in its current stage, the web site should be simple to use and understand; complicate it after a while, leave it simple now; also, you have no reason to make it complicated right now; I mean, all the login each day, and bookmarking, they all make the web site confusing; right now I should have as cost of entry the registration and perhaps some money; that’s it;
Your web site is free, like Twitter is; but it brings me no value;
2. You do poor SEO (see below); for traffic, this is a problem;
3. 2famous.com tries to scare people; a lot of exclamation points, a timer, bolded things, aggressive texts; really scary;
4. Your main asset should be traffic; right now it’s one of your biggest problems;
5. The usability is strange – for once you try to make it easy for the viewers, by explaining with “?” what a thing does; but you overdo it, and explain in too much detail, and explain everything, and it gets overwhelming; on the other hand, you put CAPTCHAs everywhere (see below), ask for terms a lot of time (see below), don’t allow me to either vote or visit a web site from the homepage (see below); confusing thing, this usability;
6. Website’s colors are too dark;
7. You’re not good with the calls-to-action (detailed below);
8. If I were you, I’d create a page dedicated to the newsletter, instead of having the option right in the sidebar; why the need for a dedicated page?
a. In the sidebar you give me no warranties – what will you do with my email address, how will I unsubscribe, how often you will send me emails, in what purposes you will use my email address; in a dedicated page, my advice would be to have all those details;
b. Also, a tip to you would be to register to Data Protection Romania, and get an official act which allows you to use email forms;
c. Right now I can’t see any of the previous newsletters; this would be an important function – I would like to know, prior to subscribing to a web site, what other newsletters have you sent; have a list of previous newsletters in a dedicated page;
d. Also interesting to have would be the option of displaying the current number of subscribers;
e. Also, still about the newsletter box, I would include the options to subscribe via:
- classic newsletter (email);
- RSS feed (you can specify this for a specific section in your web site);
- Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / other social network account in which to announce the most important events; you have to be where I, your visitor, already am;
9. I reach the footer area; give me something to do; scenario: I visit your homepage, read what it is to be read, I reach the footer area; here there are more options:
(i.) I can click one of the links in the footer, if there are any;
(ii.) I may leave the web site;
For (ii.) scenario not to happen, you should have some interesting links in the footer; top pages on your web site would be a good place to start;
Right now you have almost nothing on the footer, very bad; put some information in there:
a. Contact data;
b. Links to top visited pages; newest companies? etc.;
c. Pictures with your employees / store / map location – helps me build trust;
d. Link to a sitemap of your web site (which you lack);
10. What answers I’d love to receive from the web site:
a. Value Selling Proposition (VSP) – answer me the question: “What value does the web site bring? What are the benefits of using it?”; you should have a dedicated page the answers to these questions; tell me why your business field is good;
b. Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – this question is “What do you have and others in the same field don’t have”; what makes you different? Why you, instead of others? This is a key-question, which deserves to have an answer;
c. Guarantees – let’s say I buy from you, I don’t like your service; what happens then? Tell me what my guarantees of using the services you provide are;
d. Testimonials – what others clients who bought from you said; a long page, with name of persons, photographs and company names assigns you a lot of trust; do you have a lot of clients? Let me see them;
e. Case studies – this one is even better: you take one person and present the whole process; he was looking for a service in your field; he did a little research, he got to you eventually, and picked you because …; the result was that …; six months later he’s still satisfied because …; after he has recommended you to others, they reported him that …;
I would love to see all of these been linked-to on the “About us” page;
11. I’d love to see on the About us page:
a. The company history;
b. Financial data about your company, which I could find out myself from the Finance Minister web site, or some extra data;
c. Data about the web site traffic (I should feel that I am part of a community);
d. The USP and VSP from above;
e. Mission, values, objectives, aim, motto; I would advise you to see a video by Guy KAWASAKI, or, if nothing better, read one of his articles;
f. Details on the structure of the company;
g. (cool!) Videos with the company from the exterior, interior, with the employees, with your clients; give me some videos and I will love you;
h. CVs of the management;
i. A press release section (it helps the visitor trust you);
j. How do you care about the planet? Ecology and your company; Amazon.com’s example;
k. Why, if I buy your products, I support Romania and the Romanians?
l. Clients testimonials (you can also put less-than-pleasant impressions);
m. Case studies – detail me, how mister X, from Y town, with Z job, wanted to promote his web site; he first went to the local web site where … (important!), but she decided to buy online because … (important!); he studied the market, and picked you because …; 3 months after the acquisitions been done, his impressions are …; if he were to recommend another friend to promote online, he would tell him …; the study should better contain some before & after pictures;
12. Give me some information about your clients; let me know what your portfolio is;
13. I would love to see a video presenting all of your services;
Also interesting to see would also be pictures for each of your services;
14. What else would I expect to see on the contact page?
a. I would love to see on the Contact page also an outside photo of your building; there are also some 3D maps (see Norc, for example) which could help me get to you faster;
b. Also interesting to see on the Contact page would be some photos of your employees, it would make me get a better understanding with whom I communicate;
c. You give me a form to fill-in on the Contact page; yet you give me nothing about the protection of my data, how will you use my email address, when will you phone me if I leave a phone number, what do you do with the list of persons who contact you? Help me get a glimpse on what’s behind a contact form;
d. Wouldn’t it be nice if on the Contact page there was also a link to the Frequently Asked Questions page? I would love to see such a link;
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A2. Copywriting

+You use a pretty good English, nice!
1. You use mixed persons in the homepage; sometimes it’s “you”:
“Be the one in charge with the Internet marketing and your website promotion and increase your web site traffic today.”,
sometimes it’s “me”:
“Register me famous”;
I’d keep one person only;
2. On your homepage there are three occurrences of the word:
“web site”;
There are also 9 occurrences of:
“website”;
Can you explain the difference?
3. I’ve seen a company profile with a SPAM comment:
“DEAR CUSTOMER [...] BRINGS U NEW PAKAGE JUST SEND …”;
Why do you not check for these?
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A3. Design

+I like the contrast, easy to notice colors;

1. I don’t like the dark colors of the web site, I would prefer a web site with lighter colors;
2. Very small font sizes, hard to notice things;
3. From time to time you bold some things; it’s rather chaotic, in the sidebar you bold your name company; do you think that this is what the users want to read?
4. Some people like free spaces, perhaps due to the ease on the eye; you seem to don’t;
5. The company banners are very small; 86×52 pixels? Smaaaaal;
6. Your web site has good calls-to-action as texts (“Register me famous!”, “Register my vote!”, “Publish comment!”); a bit aggressive and rather unconventional, but fine; on the design part though, they don’t stand you but by their length; in my opinion, you should either make them larger, or use distinctive colors for the calls-to-action;
7. On the homepage the sidebar is much larger than the content area;
8. You have written in such a small font in the footer, yet you left plenty of space in there;
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A4. SEO (search engine optimization) analysis – basic tips

+I like the fact that you redirect the www. version to the non-www. version of your web site;
1. The anchor text for a web site in your database is, always, “Visit website”; why don’t you put as anchor text the name of the company? For SEO purposes, this would really mean a lot to your customers;
2. The title of the homepage:
“2famo.us – Internet Marketing Website Promotion Increase Web site Traffic”
is crowded with keywords; yet, the important keywords should be placed first, the title should be smaller, and at first it would be better to focus on keywords on which you can really rank on Google;
3. Your meta description tag looks like this:
<meta name=”description” content=”Be the one in charge with the Internet marketing and your website promotion and increase your web site traffic today”>
Problems:
- You don’t mention the company name;
- You give no call-to-action (it’s very vague);
- You don’t end it with a dot;
- You give no incentive to visit; “Oh, I should visit your web site to get a new responsibility … Now that’s great … Wait, there’s more! I can increase my traffic today … Only today? How much will you increase it? How much does it cost?”;
4. You have no sitemap.xml, no link to a sitemap in your robots.txt;
5. You have 725 results indexed by Google,
Considering you have about 150 advertisers and not too much content on the web site, it’s relatively fine;
6. I can ignore that you don’t rank in the first 50 results on Google for any of the terms you have optimized your homepage for:
[Internet Marketing]
[Website Promotion]
[Increase Web site Traffic]
But not to be found in the first 50 results on Google.com, English results, for your own brand name, now that’s a problem:
[2 famous];
Sorry, if I can’t find you by your own name in the first 50 results, you don’t know much about Internet promotion; how can you spread fame if you yourselves don’t have it?
7. It seems to me you don’t know much about Keyword Self-Cannibalization;
These pages: Privacy policy, Contact us, Advertisers – page 11 have the following titles:
<title>Privacy policy – Internet Marketing Website Promotion Increase Web site Traffic</title>
<title>Contact us – Internet Marketing Website Promotion Increase Web site Traffic</title>
<title>Famous websites – Internet Marketing Website Promotion Increase Web site Traffic</title>
As you see, they all suffer from:
- Keyword cannibalization (solutions);
- Lengthy titles (they should be 70 characters, with spaces, long, at most; see why);
8. All of these pages: 1, 2, 3 (and it goes on until 11) have the same title:
Quote:
“If pages have duplicate titles or duplicate descriptions, that’s almost never a good thing.”;
Read more;
9. By looking at the links that Open Site Explorer sees about you, I can say that:
- You have only 208 links in total;
- Most of the links come from web sites which are related to you, sites that are meant to bring traffic to other web sites, which is fine;
- You anchor texts are very poorly optimized:

http://2famo.us

2famo.us
website promotion
www.2famo.us
- Only 19 different domains link to you;
- Most of the links are to your homepage;
10. Your 404 page lacks the presence of top pages on your web site, a search box right within the page, and a friendly message (“Error 404 – Page not found” is not friendly);
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A5. Structure of information

+I like the fact that each advertiser has his own page;
1. The “about us” link in the top menu should be right after home; this is where it’s most commonly placed on web sites;
2. There should be a link in the top menu with “Contact us”;
3. One of the most important pages in your web site is the “Advertisers” page, from where I can see the list with all the advertisers; it’s very poorly promoted;
4. No search function?
5. The help functions are everywhere; they’re usefulness it’s not as comprehensive;
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A6. Usability

1. Your web site URL is this 2famo.us; you might notice this: “del.icio.us”, in July 2008, changed their domain to “delicious.com”; why is that?

We’ve seen a zillion different confusions and misspellings of “del.icio.us” over the years (for example, “de.licio.us”, “del.icio.us.com”, and “del.licio.us”), so moving to delicious.com will make it easier for people to find the site and share it with their friends.

This doesn’t mean that no one can use a URL trick for their web sites; but it does show that it would be recommended to have a traditional-looking URL, rather than an innovative, yet hard to remember and type, one;
2. The same goes for “2″; sure, you can have a domain like:
“www.mydomaindotcom.com”;
But this isn’t the way most domains are; sure, it looks funny, it amuses you the first time; the problem is remembering it, typing it correctly, and telling it to someone via phone; these all are, in my opinion, good reasons to stick to a regular domain name; not “2″ regular; just regular;
3. The fonts are ridiculously small; for someone who wants to be popular, reach everybody, you sure found ways to make a lot of viewers, with reading problems, stay away from you;
4. How come I can only vote for a company on its page only? Why can’t I vote on the first page, on the advertisers’ page, on the sidebar? Why only on the company’s page?
5. In order for one visitor to visit the web sites on your web site, it has to: go to the homepage, browse for them in 11 pages of companies in case they’re not listed on the homepage, view their profile, and click on a link called “Visit website”; this is very bad usability; let me view the company profile right from where I see it; you should allow the visitors to view other web sites fast; right now it’s slooooooooow;
6. You put a “?” on the clients profiles; well, it’s a bit too much; by explaining everything, you get to make it all very complicated;
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B. Analysis of the main elements in the homepage (cutting the homepage into pieces)

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B1. Header

+The logo is clickable, very good for usability purposes;

1. The logo:
- Regarding the motto:
“Book yourself famous”;
To me, this makes little sense; had it been an exclamation:
“Book yourself, famous!” (something like “Book yourself, gorgeous!”),
or had “famous” been a substantive:
“Book yourself fame” as in “Book yourself some fame”,
this would have made sense;
I did a Google search for:
“book yourself” (with quotes)
and only found “solid” as an adjective, which makes sense; your motto doesn’t, at least to me;
2. The name itself – “2 famous” (as in “too famous” / “to famous”); let’s have a look at it;
- First of all, the “2″ can be either “too” (as in “I’m having a problem with too much fame” / “I’m actually too famous”; in this case, this is a negative thing; why would I want to be too much of anything; how wants to be over-the-board happy?), or “to” (as in “This web site is your path for being famous”; this is grammatically wrong, so I’ll just ignore it) or “two” (as in “you will be famous alongside with us, we’ll both be two famous companies”); I think that out of the three options, you want the viewer to understand “too”; though even this game of figuring this out is bothering; why should your viewer have to force himself to understand what do you mean by “2″? Make it dead simple;
From the above description, you may understand that “Too famous” is actually a negative thing, not something that would attract me;
- This is 2011; who uses “2″ as in “too”/”to” for a professional marketing web site? Sure, “2 Advanced” was a hit; there are also Romanian web sites who use it; but the use of abbreviation “2″ for “two”/”too”/”to” is used generally by the very young generation; your target are businessmen, marketing professionals, site owners; sorry, I don’t see the fit between the two; or should I say “2″?
- I like the mirroring effect in the logo; not sure if it’s in the target audience, but it is Web 2.0 and rather nice looking;
- The text “book yourself famous” is hardly visible; for something that’s the motto of the company, it should be more easily readable;
- I can understand the star; “OK, we’re famous, we’re stars, everyone knows us”; it’s nothing revolutionary, not that much of a great idea; I can, though, appreciate its simplicity; I don’t get why the stars needs a tail; is it a running star? Is the fame temporary? The tail of the star reminds me of two things:
a) Sports cars, illegal racing;
ß) Glamour girls; popular, yes, without any real substance, also yes;
Sorry, the tail doesn’t fit in my image;
2. The block thing:
- First of all, the block message is ill-placed; it refers not to the menu below, but to the block of ads below the menu; if you wish to explain what time does the next block appears, this message should be place right near the block itself;
- The block has a message like this:
“I know you can barely wait to see the next block of ads; surely, the advertising companies paid for these blocks; surely, to get in there a company usually just has to pay for the service, nothing more; despite the fact that it’s just advertising, you are probably so eager to see the next block of ads, that we’ll publicly announce when the next batch of ads will appear”;
OK, let me put it like this:
a) The ads are of no interest to the regular viewer; he simply does not care when the new ads will appear;
ß) Right now it’s 15:12 Romania time (GMT+2); you tell me the new ads will appear in:
“17 hrs 47 min 38 sec”;
i. Do you think I want to know this with a precision of a second? Gmail uses approximations; in this case, it would be something like: “17 and a half hours”, or, even better, “tomorrow”; that’s it; simple;
ii. Also, do you think that I would prefer to know that it’s 17 hours from now or that it’s tomorrow at 6 AM, Romania time?
γ) This:
“next block in”
has no verb in it; what will happen within 17 hours?
δ) You show this tooltip:
“::Whenever the timer runs out, a new block of websites is shown. The block contains the websites booked for the time slot that starts when the timer is reset. The websites are shown in the order they were booked. These websites benefit from free Internet marketing, free website promotion and are increasing their web site traffic”;
Some ideas:
i. Why won’t you show me in the tooltip the list of the new web sites? This might actually interest me;
ii. Let me put a logical affirmation:
A web site is a form of Internet marketing; you say that the web sites that the web sites that appear on the block “benefit from free Internet marketing”; but all sites are, by themselves, a form of Internet marketing; just because they exist; your affirmation makes little sense;
iii. You say this:
“These websites benefit from free Internet marketing, free website promotion and are increasing their web site traffic”,
but you give no real stats (how much does an average web site increases its traffic, if that web site shows his ad for a week?), no timeframes (for how long?), and no incentive to take an action (how should I benefit from this myself? What should I do to get this?);
iv. Your paragraph doesn’t end with a dot;
3. The Login/Register box:
- I’m used to filling forms vertically, not horizontally; I’d change the form if I were you;
- I like the star on the registration option;
- Again, “Register me famous”, makes little sense; it’s either:
a) “Register me, gorgeous” (see the comma), or:
ß) “Register me some fame”;
- You use mixed persons in the homepage; sometimes it’s “you”:
“Be the one in charge with the Internet marketing and your website promotion and increase your web site traffic today.”,
sometimes it’s “me”:
“Register me famous”;
I’d keep one person only;
4. The top menu:
- No underline links? Why not?
- What’s the difference between the menu on the right and the web site title box on the left? Bolded or not? Font size? That’s too small of a difference; I would focus on making the differences more prominent;
- The “about us” link in the top menu should be right after home; this is where it’s most commonly placed on web sites;
- There should be a link in the top menu with “Contact us”;
- You say this:
“Internet marketing and website promotion”;
It’s like saying:
“We have ice cream and chocolate ice cream”;
OK, the second is already included in the first one;
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B2. Main content

+I like the fact that you use images for the title, very nice way of explaining with graphics the contents of a title; good job!

1. Regarding:
“Be the one in charge with the Internet marketing and your website promotion and increase your web site traffic today.”;
- How do you know I’m not in charge already?
- How will the web site help me be in charge? If I leave a note on a desk of a colleague saying I fire him, or give him a salary increase, that this gesture makes me the CEO? How could the gesture of promoting a web site on the Internet via 2famous.com make me in charge with Internet marketing on that web site?
- Will I only increase the web site traffic today? Or did you mean to say “starting today”?
- This:
“Be the one in charge with the Internet marketing and your website promotion”
is very vague;
Do you mean within my own company? For the web site I represent? Or for the whole Internet? The text doesn’t specify;
2. Do you see a space missing?
“today.2famo.us”;
3. This rather funny:
“2famo.us offers a free and unique Internet marketing service: booking websites on the home page of 2famo.us.”;
In other words:
“Only on 2famo.us you can book web sites for 2famo.us. And this is our competitional advantage.”;
4. You start the paragraph with this:
“increase your web site traffic today”
and continue with this:
“book your websites”;
Make up your mind – is it one web site or more?
5. stardom” is a rather unusual word, I would avoid using it and go for something more commonly used;
6. You say this:
“Increasing web site traffic and becoming famous has never been easier!”;
Well, “easy” is a rather vague word;
Is it easier to reach 1,000 visitors on your web site or to pay some money and get them via AdWords?
Is it easier to use your web site every day or do something revolutionary which will bring me on TV?
What if I do SEO and I’m on top of Google for a very competitive term?
If I SPAM other, is it easier to get more traffic?
I would define what “easy” means;
I’d also avoid saying “has never been easier”; there can be thousand of counter-examples;
7. Regarding this:
“No charges, it’s absolutely FREE!”;
You basically yell at me; don’t do this; don’t write in CAPS with exclamation points; instead of yelling at me: “FREE”, wouldn’t it be better to tell me more about my advantages of joining your web site? How will my traffic increase? By how much? What’s my required effort? What do other clients say about you?
8. You say this:
“start advertising your websites by booking them on the home page of 2famo.us”;
I’m on the homepage and I can’t book any web site;
Oh, you mean that I can book a web site to appear on the homepage? Well, that’s a rather different affirmation, wouldn’t you agree?
9. If a company has no votes, I’d make the stars appear differently; right now, just by looking at your homepage, I can’t tell if a company can have zero stars or not, and for each company I see that has zero stars, I have to check the number of votes; don’t do this; make it simple for me to understand this;
10. Rank 2 … well, out of what?
11. You say this:
“1,184.67pts”;
Do you think I care the exact decimals? Do you think they’re relevant to me in any way?
12. The fonts are ridiculously small; for someone who wants to be popular, reach everybody, you sure found ways to make a lot of viewers, with reading problems, stay away from you;
13. You use a small description in the companies box; unfortunately, you don’t use full words (or even sentences) when cutting things; you just cut at 140 or so; this is a rather unfortunate solution, I’d avoid cutting words automatically;
14. You have a web site in English; why do you allow Romanian companies in there? How does this sound in English?
“Monturi crap”?
“Monturi crap profesionale Montura Plumb Pierdut sau Montura Safety Clip, Montura Inline, Montura Culisanta, Montura Elicopter… “?
If I visit your web site and see this, I tend to leave immediately;
Stick to English and do check your companies; in this case, just checking the name would be fine;
(top)

B3. Sidebar

+I like the contrast, I can easily read the texts in the sidebar;

1. On your homepage there are three occurrences of the word:
“web site”;
There are also 9 occurrences of:
“website”;
Can you explain the difference?
2. Instead of:
“Famous Websites”,
I’d write:
“Famous web sites” (no initial capital, space);
3. You say the web sites in your sidebar are famous web sites; surely you can explain how storemywork.co.cc, which is an unregistrated domain is famous web site;
The same holds true for:
“Ravings of a Madman”;
4. You have in the list of “famous web sites” three web sites which got 2 visits from you; how are they famous?
5. I think it’s best we explain what famous is;
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary,
famous means:
a: widely known;
b: honored for achievement;
I understand – you want to show in the list web sites which are honored for their performance as advertisers; unfortunately, to me this is not an achievement;
Also, most people, when they hear famous, refer to the first sense, that of widely known; I look in your list and I see no widely known web sites;
Thus, the title “Famous” is rather untrue;
6. You say this:
“Top advertisers deserve extra website promotion and increased web site traffic!”;
Why is that? Why do they deserve it so much? Because they fill-in a form? Because they visit your web site often? What is their effort that makes them so worthy of a prize?
7. What do you mean by that?
“benefited most efficiently”;
How can you benefit in an inefficient way? Is it a benefit or not?
8. You say this:
“our free Internet marketing”;
I’m sorry, this isn’t free; you require me to waste some time, and my time is not free; you also require some effort from my part, and this is also not free;
(top)

B4. Footer

+It’s very simple, clear, easy to understand;

1. The “About us” menu entry is found on most web sites right after “Home”;
2. I’d try to put the “Privacy” and “Terms & conditions” on a single page;
3. Too many numbers in here:
“2010 2famous”;
4. This:
“2008 – 2010″
should be written without any spaces;
5. 2010 should be, in fact, 2011;
6. I’ve noticed a glitch in the way the left and right parts of the page combine:

I think the upper combination should be the same as the lower one;
7. There are sites in Romania which put links in the footer. You should be avoiding this practice.

(top)

C. Analysis of web site pages (the most important pages of the web site, analyzed separately)

(top)

C1. Advertisers page

+I like the fact that you list all of your web sites, since creation;

1. You say this:
“Everyone who has an account on 2famo.us is an advertiser!”;
Well, in most cases, advertising is perceived as a paid effort; so, usually, in advertising, people pay some money; you say that by creating a free account, I am an advertiser; let me just say that I can be considered one;
2. You say:
“try to promote them to stardom”;
Although I don’t agree that by using the web site, one can bring a web site to stardom, using the word “try” is generally considered weak; I’d look for a stronger alternative;
3. Here:
“the ones most recently registered being the first ones”
this sounds wrong:
“the ones [...] being the first ones”;
4. You give me the hour of registration of a web site; besides spying on my competition (which is not a very nice thing to help me with), why else would I be interested in the exact hour a web site has been registered?
I’m a visitor of your web site, you don’t need to prove me anything;
5. How does this look to you:
“0.00pts”?
Why the need for “.00″?
6. Why do you allow web sites with description like this:
“This is a awesome website you should really check it out and become a member!! thanks!!.”?
7. I would prefer to be able to sort the web sites; you present them sorted by date; how about other criteria (number of votes, average vote, number of views, traffic provided to them)?
8. How come I can only vote for a company on its page only? Why can’t I vote on the first page, on the advertisers’ page, on the sidebar? Why only on the company’s page?
(top)

C2. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page

+You answer quite a lot of questions

1. It’s too much; too much text, reduce it as much as possible;
2. You say this:
“there is no way you can quickly attract traffic to your website unless you know some website owners whose websites have huge amounts of traffic and they write about you and/or put a link back to your website on the home page or on any other very visible area of their website”;
I’m sure you know that with money, the above statement is false; also, I can do an unique product and benefit from TV coverage; if I’m famous offline, I can be famous online; your solution is not the only one;
3. Instead of:
“SEO friendly”,
I’d write:
“Search Engine Optimization (SEO)-friendly”;
4. Regarding:
“how to to write your META tags, URLs, keywords, etc”
- After “etc” you should put a dot;
- Before “etc” there should not be a comma;
- “The meta keywords tag allows you to provide additional text for crawler-based search engines to index along with your body copy. How does this help you? Well, for most major crawlers, it doesn’t.” (quote from here);
- “to to”?
- What meta tag, besides “description”, should I write?
5. You say this:
“somewhere between two and six months – that is how long it takes some search engines to give your website a page rank”;
Sorry, but as far as I know, the first link that gets to your web site gives it a Page Rank; if you mean the public PageRank displayed by Google in the toolbar, yes, that was updated about 4 times an year (not anymore) – “The displayed value is not the actual value Google uses so it is only a rough guide. ‘Toolbar’ PageRank is different from Google PageRank because the PageRank displayed in the toolbar is not 100% reflective of the way Google judges the value of a website” (quote from here);
6. “somewhere between two and six months – that is how long it takes some search engines [...] to properly index your website”
If I have a one-page web site it will be indexed from the first valuable link I get to my web site;
If I have a presentation one web site with 6 pages only, it only takes a few links to my web site;
It’s really not correlated with time, but with indexation problems and with links to me;
7. You say:
“On the other hand, everything that you read related to website promotion might simply not apply to you!”
… and your guide differs from this … how?
8. Now that’s an argument:
“link exchanging sucks;”;
Riiiiiiiiight;
9. Do you think I’ll remember this after reading your manual?
“make sure you enter a valid email address because the registration process requires you to activate your account by clicking on a link that will be emailed to you immediately after you submit the form”;
Don’t say to me – “when you reach the castle gate, ring”; instead, put me a sign to ring the bell right at the entrance; why should I remember this information here?
10. The same applies to this:
“Once you set the correct time zone for your account you will see all the date/time related information translated in your local time. This is important so that you know exactly when you are booking your websites on the home page of 2famo.us.”;
11. Whaaat?
“an 86×52 pixels JPEG, GIF or PNG image, having no more than 100KB”
- Can you show me a 86×52 JPEG / GIF / PNG image larger than 100 KB? If so, couldn’t you save it with a better compression and leave this out of my head?
- Can’t you resize it for me?
- Shouldn’t you allow me to do a crop?
- What’s with the exact size? Do you realize that I don’t have such a picture on my hard drive? Make it easy for me to upload it;
12. Comma missing:
“the better the position the highest the score.”;
(top)

C3. About us page

+It’s great that the page exists in the first place;

1. Comma missing:
“If you ever launched a new website you must know how hard it is to promote it.”;
2. I don’t like the problem of duplicate content; the “About us” only repeats texts from the “F.A.Q.” page; I don’t like this, and the engines don’t either;
3. I think that both of these titles should end in an exclamation mark:
“Increase your web site traffic.
Do your own Internet marketing and website promotion.”;
(top)

C4. Registration page

+You ask for the password check, great, avoids errors;

1. Have a look at this logic:
“The email should arrive in a few seconds. If it doesn’t, please check your Spam/Junk folders.”;
Hasn’t the email arrived, even if it is in the Junk folder?
2. “Note that the link in the email is valid for only 24 hours.”; why? Why would you put such a condition?
3. Dot missing:
“If you do not click on it in the next 24 hours, you will have to start the registration process all over again”;
4. Why the exclamation mark in the subject of the email? Why scare me?
“Confirm your account on 2famo.us!”;
5. What if I don’t receive the email? How can I receive it again?
6. On the registration page, you don’t specify which fields are mandatory and which are not;
7. What do you mean by that?
“Please specify a valid email address”?
What’s a “valid” email address?
8. This is very passive:
“An email will be sent to the specified email address with a link that needs to be clicked in order for your account to become active.”;
I would use active verbs:
“We will send an email … you need to click on the link … your account will be active”;
9. Comma missing:
“the correct time zone but the time shown”;
10. What are these?
“contain only alphanumeric characters”?
Why do you need this restriction?
If my password is better than your required condition, why can’t I use it?
11. Do you think an average user understands this?
“If the image has different measurements, it will be automatically rescaled, maintaining the aspect ratio, so that it will fit a 86×52 rectangle. The image could also suffer from quality loss in this case.”;
12. You are probably dealing with customers’ logos; do you think that your users would prefer:
- To have their logo scaled (and deformed) to 86×52;
- To have their logo scaled to fit in 86×52 without any deformation?
13. If you have a description limit of 600 characters, wouldn’t it be nice to have a character counter on the page?
14. What’s with this button:
“Register my famous website!”?
- No space at “web site”?
- If it’s already famous why does it need to be registered here?
- Why the exclamation point?
15. If I register a web site, why, when editing the web site, do I have to agree with the terms & conditions again? Actually, I only have to agree to them once, when I register to the web site in the first place; that’s it;
16. I create a username, and insert a CAPTCHA, so you know that I’m human; for each site I register, you ask me again to submit a CAPTCHA; but to you it would be simple to delete all of the web sites I have inserted, so why do you need, again, a CAPTCHA? It’s bad usability;
17. What do you mean by this?
“If your local time is way off 16:37:31, click here to fix this issue”?
If my local time was close to this, I shouldn’t fix it?
(top)

C5. A random web site profile

+Pretty nice graphics;

1. How come an advertiser has 0 profile views from 10 campaigns?
2. Why can’t I vote right were the vote average is displayed?
3. To vote on your web site, I need to:
- Self-determine if one star is lower than 5 stars (it says nowhere what 1 star vs. 5 stars means);
- Select my target vote;
- Click on “Register my vote!”;
- Wait for the page to reload;
It seems to me you really want to punish those trying to vote; really making it hard for them to vote;
4. I’m on the page of a random web site; I click “log out”; I’m taken to the homepage; huh?
5. Your comments ask for nothing, no name, no email, no web site; if you were to take responsibility to everything that your users entered, it would be a problem; I can say bad words on an advertiser and I can’t be accounted for; you only know I’m human via the captcha; you can only know some things about me via my IP address; that’s it; I’m anonymous; this shouldn’t happen, I can’t just say things on the Internet about a company; I don’t mean to force users to create accounts, just ask for an email address which meets the criteria of a an email address (something@something.com), and you’re fine; also at least ask for a name or pseudonym; if this were a chat, it were fine; this is not a chat, it’s a business promotion technique;
6. You write “2 famous” with a space in the title of the page, differently than in the rest of the web site; why is that?
7. The company banners are very small; 86×52 pixels? Smaaaaal;
8. You have this “Report broken link”; you should check for these links automatically;
(top)

D. Conclusions

_________________
Bottom line: 2famo.us is a very well made web site, with very good quality services.




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