So I am going to preface this post by saying, I really hate politics. Not local politics so much – I know so many amazing people who work so hard for our communities and are passionately committed to improving our towns and cities – but I have always steered clear of presidential politics. No matter what side you’re on, your opinion is going to piss off 50% of the people you know – so I follow that sagely advice of never discussing politics or religion.
This time feels different. I daresay, it’s probably one of the most important elections in modern history, so I have watched nearly every debate on both sides, on all news media, because I really want to know as much as I can. As a registered Independent, I like to think I am keeping an open mind.
So somewhere on either facebook or twitter, I saw a picture somebody had posted of the tag on his Trump tie, which clearly stated “Made in China”. (I smiled openly, because the way he says “China” always aggravates me for some reason lol) . Curiosity piqued, I went to the Trump website to check out his “empire” and to see if there’d be a way I could see where all his stuff is made. After following all the links, I was surprised to discover that he actually doesn’t sell anything on his website at all! All of the links on his merchandise section bring you to other websites. I went through them twice because I was in disbelief.
There are two links that bring you to the “home” collection. One link brings you to a pretty landing page, and if you want to see the collection, you are directed to the ‘contact us’ page. There is a pretty promo video (which focuses more on a pretty girl in high end clothing – who, btw, touches her face annoyingly every second – then it does the furniture), which displays a URL on the last frame, but you can’t click it. You have to manually type in the displayed url, so I did, and got a 404 “page not found” error on the website. In fact the Trump home collection is made by another designer and that page no longer exists on their website. That can happen, so I searched the site for ‘Trump’ on the site which resulted in: Your search for “trump” did not match any results. Huh. Another link on the trump website does bring you to a version of the designer’s website branded Trump Home, which makes more sense (but you still can’t look at anything without leaving your contact info). So I guess that first link was an old one and needs to be updated. I moved on to other links.
The Trump Lighting link went to amazon (quick, Trump lighting is selling at 50% off!), the link to Chandeliers went to lamps.com and a search for “trump” there resulted in a small selection of home decor made with antlers – none of which was a chandelier (see featured image on this post lol.). The Trump Spring Water link brings you to a posh Trump Spring Water logo and some text says how great it is, it’s bottled at the source, you should try it! – but you can’t order it (i guess you can’t get it unless you’re on a trump property). The book links, again, go to amazon (also selling at a discount! I would never expect anything of his to be discounted!). In fact all of the merchandise links link elsewhere.
So I thought this was kind of interesting, that, with all his money, he couldn’t build e-commerce into his own site, or at least design it with some consistency so the user got “The Trump experience” (even if the order was in fact fulfilled elsewhere).
Basically, his empire is a pretty front end with nothing behind it. It’s a portal, and Trump is just a brand of rebranded stuff (except for his books I suppose, which one hopes he actually did write, but who knows) It’s marketing genius really. I’d love to try it…go around telling the world how awesome I am, how I’m the best at xx, NOBODY is better than I am at xx, “trust me”, generate a buzz, and get people to go to my website, where I direct them to somebody else to do all of the work and I make all of the money and get all the credit. Do you think it would work?
Well, politics aside now, that was a long winded way to bring you to some important advice that should help make your website GREAT again:
- Make sure your links are correct and that the user is never brought to a link that doesn’t work. It’s not easy to control that especially if you are not managing that other site, so you should visit your own site periodically just to verify all is working properly, and fix it if needed.
- Try to avoid links embedded into a video if they are links you cannot control and you don’t have video-editing experience. It probably cost you alot of money to have that video made, and if the text is embedded into the video itself you’ll probably have to pay somebody to make the change. Instead, embed the video into your web page and use any of the many ways to link that video to the desired destination. That is so much easier, and more cost-effective, to change and control.
- E-commerce has come along way in the last couple of years, there’s no reason you can’t incorporate it into your site, even if order fulfillment is occurring elsewhere. (even amazon!) Doing so means the user isn’t taken out of your site – you’ll look more professional and the user will have more confidence that they are getting what they went to your site for. Plus, if you’re linking OUT to amazon, there’s a high probability they will get distracted (as often happens on Amazon.com) or, they can “shop around” and potentially buy from a competitor.
- Be sure your pages, posts, and products are properly tagged and cataloged, so that if your customer is looking for chandeliers, they might actually find them.