Even with millions of websites to choose from, perfection is hard to find. We all have flaws, though, and you don’t have to be perfect to be appreciated (according to a legitimate source– my mother).
Even so, occasionally I come across a website so good, so amazing, that I have to tell others about it. These aren’t necessarily the funniest sites, nor the prettiest, or the ones with the most web traffic. These selections are the sites that accomplish their objective completely, while being both productive and honest. What goes into a winning website?
This week, we talk about The Mattress Nerd.
Don’t Lose Sleep Over Anything
Imagine a guy that just loves mattresses. It may have just started out as a job for Jack, but eventually the spark flamed and a romance was born. At least, that’s how I imagine it went down. It turns out, he learns that people struggle with their mattress-buying decisions, and he knows everything there is to know about mattresses!
That’s the Mattress Nerd. In researching why Mattress Firms are so popular, I came across his site. So let’s break down why I think it is so good:
1. It’s focused on the user’s needs
People coming to this site are looking for information to help them buy their perfect mattress, and this site provides exactly that. Informative, backed by experience and research, and any conflict is fully disclosed up front. Often, users are going to MattressNerd.com and sites like it because they are nervous about buying a mattress online. While some might research a mattress before they go to a physical store and buy it, it’s now a real option to get a new mattress delivered right to your house, for less than what you would pay to go and pick it up, yourself. But it’s kind of like buying shoes or clothes online; you really want to try them on, and a mattress might be a bit of a hassle if it doesn’t work out. The information provided here helps the visitor make that important decision before committing to a purchase elsewhere.
What they could do better: Navigation could be improved, making it much easier for a new visitor to find the mattresses they wish to evaluate.
2. There’s no sales pitch
One of the toughest things about shopping for anything is the sales pitch. You want more information about the car, the business, or manufacturing of the product, but the person between you and peaceful thought has obvious intentions on using you to help meet his quota. Even if they are helpful, salespeople can make us uncomfortable and make us feel undue pressure. “I don’t want to let her down…she’s been so nice!” And God help the person who was expecting a delivery and opens the door to the internet provider going through the neighborhood.
Jack does none of that, and that is simply because he doesn’t sell anything.
I am quite familiar with native marketing, and I hate it. If you don’t know what that is, native marketing is when an article, blog, or video appears to be just that, when in reality it is a sponsored piece of marketing content meant to sell you. It’s enraging because the reader was tricked into reading a sponsored ad.
Let’s be clear; Mattress Nerd does not do this at all. Jack does have some ad space and gets a small commission when someone goes from his site to, say, Amazon and purchases a mattress. In any place where bias could possibly exist, he discloses the context.
4. It is well designed
An attractive site is more likely to generate a positive impression, and those first few seconds may be your only chance to attract someone to your content. Don’t overdo the colors, the text should be easy to read, and it the design should be rather simple and allow for adequate white space. Jack does this pretty well.
What they could do better: While there are a few images here and there, Mattress Nerd could do better by adding some more high-quality images.
5. Fresh, regular content
gotta be fresh
Content is king! You can have a good-looking website, but you can also put lipstick on a pig. The audience is looking for content that is informative and relevant, and the site delivers. It is also regularly updated, with a decent-size body of work. Web content can be a bit different than print. While it may be able to live forever instead of only having a shelf life of 30 days (like a magazine article), the content loses importance over time, just as the web site loses credibility over time if it is not updated regularly. Jack not only updates his site with new content frequently, but also responds to your inquiries on the quick.
What they could do better: The content could be better optimized for search engines. Unless you hit a specific string, the site isn’t likely to be in your top 3 when searching through Google.
image courtesy of Dennis Tort’s tortoise memes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Domain names can be hard to come by, nowadays. Mattress Nerd captured a creative name that is consistent with a clear identity. The name and branding are not obscure, the few ads are relevant, and the visitor can quickly and clearly understand the site.
What they could do better: I would recommend an improved logo, with the colors present throughout the site. There isn’t much of a visual trigger for Mattress Nerd, which is exactly what branding and logos are supposed to do.
With MattressNerd.com, Jack has created an innovative, incredibly useful site that is niche-specific. It is even more impressive as he has done nearly all of it completely by himself. While there are a few things that the Mattress Nerd could improve on, this is definitely a great inductee into Websites That Win.