Customer friction, conversion rates and SEM

Jim Novo, database marketing and web analytics expert, writes in his “Drilling Down” book about prospective customers who experience friction which prevents them from becoming customers. In the case of a website experience, Jim writes:

“An easy way to measure this want-to-be-customer friction is to look at the visitor conversion rate on your web site. Navigational design and layout determine “physical friction” and copy elements determine “emotional” friction. Design and layout testing will reduce physical friction; persuasive copywriting will reduce emotional friction. Success at reducing want-to-be-customer friction is measured by an increased visitor conversion rate.”

This wonderful analysis can be further extended into the realm of search engine marketing. In organic search engine optimization, the onsite influencing inelements which Jim summarized above, would have to be altered in order to serve the potential customer information needs. In pay-per-click marketing, the text of the ad will have to be persuasive enough to play the role of “emotional greese” so that the person making the search woulf feel insired to click and go further into the site.