Early results on exploratory signup website No Dice Required

by alex 8. April 2013 22:31

It's day 67 of the experiment. I mentioned last week that one of my old projects, No Dice Required, recently had an unexpected surge in traffic and signups. I spent a few days last week redesigning the website in ASP.NET MVC 4 and writing new copy and user tracking code.

The new website is a coming-soon page with a beta signup. The entire site consists of maybe a dozen pages: home page (with sign up control), sign up page, sign up complete page, HTTP error pages, and a this-site-has-been-redesigned page for the pages of the old site. Additionally, there are many dynamically generated landing pages.

Home page

The old home page was poor for a few reasons. There were less than 20 words available before login and there wasn't any meta data included in the headers: together, these make it hard for search engines to know anything about the site.

The old page also didn't sell the site in any way. Why does it exist? Why should the visitor care? I'm still not particularly good at writing copy that converts, but I feel like I'm improving.

The new homepage has much more text, images, and formatting variations: these should make a visitor more interested in reading the content of the webpage.

The coins at the bottom spin, and if the visitor clicks on them then a coin-pickup sound is played and the coin counter in the top menu increases. The number of collected coins is persisted in a cookie.

I pushed this to the internet a little less than a week ago. So far there are 2 signups for the beta and it has been seen by 89 unique visitors. Most visitors haven't realized that the coins were clickable. This might be because they lack imagination and I imply that they are clickable. Implying on the internet is bad for conversion! I should have come out and said that they were clickable or collectible or something a bit less subtle.

There's quite a bit of custom user tracking going on; I will write about the details of what I'm doing. The landing pages are done, except that I still need to work out the creation of dynamic sitemaps. The trouble here is that I can't easily route a single file to a controller action without also routing all files through the ASP.NET pipeline as well; doing that would be a performance nightmare.

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