This is Part Two of Website Tear Down. In this episode, Steli and Hiten look at websites and provide important feedback to listeners. Steli and Hiten give their thoughts about two particular websites and how they can improve and build upon what they already have. Tune in to find out the importance of keeping your website pages as clean as possible and the importance of communicating your value compared to the next guy.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:05 – Today’s episode is Website Tear Down: Part Two
  • 00:40 – Steli is still on pain medication
  • 00:56 – First website Steli and Hiten discuss is Tortuga Retreats
    • 01:22 – The headline is moving too much
    • 02:10 – Pick one value proposition and stick to it
    • 02:58 – The local and international numbers are good
    • 04:18 – They should include people in their pictures
    • 06:16 – Post the importance of company retreats with pictures of the customers
    • 07:20 – The “request a quote” page, it is heavy and noisy
    • 07:41 – “You want to take away as much noise as possible”
    • 07:56 – The more links and noise, the more overwhelming the experience
    • 08:19 – There is a large request form with a LOT of specific questions for the viewer
    • 09:00 – There are 3 large boxes of a LOT of information for viewers
    • 09:33 – “It’s just too much”
    • 09:56 – Always ask, do you really need all this information about your client to make the next step in the process?
    • 10:30 – What does the client know about their trip, and what details are still fuzzy? Having an abundance of questions can be overwhelming for the client
    • 11:03 – Some decisions should be made with your help and prompting
    • 11:50 – Don’t force the client to make hard choices right off the bat, it can turn them off
    • 12:32 – Organizing team retreats is very difficult and requires the help of someone from the retreat business
    • 13:02 – Steli really wants to use their service as his feedback is very honest and thorough
  • 13:35 – Remote Interview is the next website
    • 13:51 – I know this gentleman who owns this website
    • 14:01 – The main headline is asking a question – but, don’t talk to just anybody
    • 14:20 – Steli discusses what he assumes the website is about (coding tests for future coding candidates)
    • 14:46 – The page is clean and simple
    • 14:55 – The button looks like a Google button or a Dropbox site
    • 15:33 – Steli navigates through the website
    • 16:57 – They should explain how they are better than their competitors
    • 17:00 – This website answers what they offer and the value of what they offer, but not how they stand apart
    • 17:20 – Hiten says the call to action is not compelling and should be more specific
    • 17:53 – Hiten gives suggestions of how to make a more compelling call to action
    • 18:32 – Hiten also shares a few button suggestions that could really specify the call to actions
    • 19:17 – The Old You vs. New You is a great feature
    • 19:37 – Hiten and Steli both believe it’s a pretty great website overall, just a few minor tweaks to make it just that much better
  • 19:55 – Steli and Hiten close the episode

3 Key Points:

  1. Simplify your pages as much as possible to make your message clean and clear.
  2. Feedback from customers should be posted with their pictures.
  3. The call to action needs to be specific, so the customer knows exactly what to do next.


Steli Efti: Hey, everybody this is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: Hey, this is Hiten Shah .



Steli Efti: And in today’s episode of the were doing a website tear down part two so you guys had submitted way too many websites that we can cover in one episode so we’re gonna have some fun with this and we’ll see how many episodes it takes us to go through most of the website. We’ll try to get to most of them. I’m under, as a disclaimer, under still on a pain medication after knee surgery so my feedback is under a big disclaimer but we’re just gonna jump right into it and try to provide as much value and feedback as possible. Hiten , do you want to take it away with the first website?



Hiten Shah: Yeah. This first website is called tortuga retreats. T-O-R-T-U-G-A And one of the first things I notice when I hit the website is there’s a headline and a subheadline and a button. And then there’s a, basically like a changing image and the headline and stuff changes as well. Right when I hit the page it just keeps changing. That stuff gives me a headache. I just have a visceral reaction when I see motion on a page. We had a previous tear down in our last episode on these tear downs that had like a big video in the back and Steli was wondering if that increases conversions and all that. I’ve cussed at things like this, especially with those images and the headlines changing. It’s really confusing. ‘Cause right now I don’t even know how to give feedback ’cause, there’s multiple headlines so I have to pay attention to all of them. So one, it says come here, retreats for remote teams, meet up, brainstorm and get to know each other. And then it changed. Another one says save time, money, and hassles. We organize all the logistics around planning company retreats. Okay, I get the point. A third one is bring your distributor teams together. Live and work in one place. Enjoy awesome activities. And the one thing that doesn’t change is the button that says request a quote. So, I would advise here that, pick one value prop, they all seem very similar so you can pick any of them and basically stick to it don’t make the image rotate in the back and then find, just a really good value prop. I actually like this whole idea of company retreats for remote teams and the fact that you organize all the logistics around planning these. It sounds like a strong value prop. Anyone that’s done this, especially when they look at the companies that you’re involved with, Zapier, Hotjar, Greater Good, Baylin Technologies, and Mavin Tree. I’ve heard of Hotjar and Zapier and Greater Good as well so there’s a few in there that probably a lot of people will have heard of. That’s really cool. I mean, it looks like you’ve already worked with some awesome companies so you don’t need to do this fancy changing the image in the back but I can gloss through that for days because it just doesn’t work too well. There’s also a phone number on the top right which I really like. It’s an 877 number so it’s toll free and then there’s also a link to show international numbers that sort of pops up. Super cool. Really like that. I’m sure you might be getting some phone calls. And then below is like retreat locations that I can click and look at North America or the Caribbean or wherever you are allowing the retreat and then below that it says here’s what you get. Beautiful accommodations, co-working and fast internet, service and amenities, activities and experiences, and then below that it talks about your clients and lets me go see more testimonials if I want. All really cool stuff. I actually overall think the page has the right value props, it’s just that that rotating thing really throws me off. The request a quote, I would probably make that copy a lot more specific too where you talk more about plan your remote team retreat or plan your company retreat or something a lot more tactical than just requesting a quote or have us help you plan a company retreat or something like that. So, yeah that’s mostly what I got. There’s other pages in the site like retreat locations, how to book a retreat and stuff like that, which I think are all valuable things but on a high level this could just be so much tighter when you start talking about company retreats and all that. And also, one other thing before I move on and let Steli comment, or have Steli comment, is there’s barely, there’s only one picture that’s kinda buried that actually, or maybe two if I really want to be picky about it that include people in it. Maybe three and this is about remote company retreats and this is about teams that usually don’t get to be in person so I think it’d be really cool if you actually included people in the imagery. Actually, it wouldn’t be cool, it would be really valuable. Especially people that look like not a family but a team. And since you have some of these customers, just ask them for a picture from their company retreats and that could be really valuable. And yeah, there are more than as many pictures as on site that have images but the majority of these don’t. I’m sorry, people in them. These images with people in them and they should ’cause that would really invoke more emotion out of this.



Steli Efti: I love it. Such great feedback. So, yeah I think, I love the value proposition. I think that these guys do a good job. I come on the site and there’s a lots of things, lots of things that could improve but I kind of, it doesn’t take me that long to figure out okay, they’re like a travel agency for remote teams right, so they organize team retreats for teams like that. I love it, it makes sense, I get why this is valuable. So I like all that. I agree with all the feedback that Hiten  has given and I would say if your valuable position is like team retreats for remote teams, I would make … Zapier and Hotjar are well known. The other three I don’t know that well but I would make those trusted by global companies or remote companies, I would highlight that a little bit more. It’s kind of buried. To me, when I, the top images rotating, I agree with Hiten . I also find that most of these images have not retained a screen, kind of optimized so that they look actually pretty bad on my screen. Look pixely, so it’s not beautiful imagery and I can see the massive difference when I scroll down and I see some smaller images really really high quality. And then I’m gonna maybe feedback the request a quote page ’cause I get a popup that asks me to ask for a quote and there’s lots of buttons that say request a quote. So that’s the place where I’m gonna give main feedback but on the home page can you just, can you, can’t you just have some of these companies, they write blog posts. I know that about Zapier, about their team retreats with images and with stories and why team retreats are important for remote teams and how it’s, how they organize them and how they do things around their team retreats. Can’t you just have more of these case study stuff or linking to blog posts of reporting these companies how important it was to bring everybody globally together to one place. Right now the what our clients say section at the very bottom of the home page is really underwhelming. It’s not even images, it’s just some name with a company and it’s just one sentence and it’s, I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to be done with a lot of care. I would like to see the image of the person smiling in that location in the Bahamas and wherever, in which, whatever location there is. So I think that investing a little bit of money when you organize these retreats to take some pictures of people and get some really great quotes of case studies and why this team retreat was so important to the company to be successful and how you helped facilitate that. I think that would be incredibly valuable and it’s kind of underwhelming. When I click the request a quote the first thing I think is holy fucking shit. This is a lot of stuff. This page is huge.



Hiten Shah: Yeah.



Steli Efti: It’s humongous. And it has a, basically, had this overlay image which is kind of a waste, it has that whole menu at the top, which you might not want to have on the request a home page. You want to take away as much noise as possible to really simplify and focus and quiet down and calm down the page so that the person knows what they need to do, fill out these three things and then hit a button to submit it and the more links you have and the more stuff is going on the more distracted I am and the more overwhelmed I feel. This is an overwhelming page. There’s a big image and and it, again, has request a quote. It shows all the menu links at the top and log in and all that so there’s a lot going on. Then I have to scroll down and there’s on the left side there’s a fairly large request form with, I have to put in my name, first name, last name, the business I’m with, all this stuff where I want to go on retreat, the duration of it, the amount of people. There’s a bunch of check boxes I have to do. Do I want beach? Do I want this, do I want that? Should it be in North America? Europe? What is the preferred lodging? Should it be cool living or resorts or houses? Lots of decisions. You’re asking me to make a ton of decisions here. Do I need assistance with flights, yes or no? Lot’s of other things and there’s a big recapture form that I need to prove I’m not some kind of alien or bot that I’m a human being. And then on the right I actually just realized that this is not another bunch of boxes and forms I need to click and fill out. This is information they want to give me so on the right there’s one, two, three large boxes, pretty solid the first is location so there’s a bunch of locations in North America, Caribbean, whatever, and little plus boxes so if I click on that it shows me, it expands and shows me all the cities in North America, all the cities in Latin America, whatever. Why book with us it has, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Eight check marks with lots of sentences of things and then at the last big box is services and amenities, it’s just too much. I realize that all that stuff is actually not forms of things I need to click or do something with, but yeah, I would communicate that. I would simplify this page. I would really ask myself, of course I understand why you want all of this information but do you really need all the information to start the dialogue with a customer. To start a qualifying a prospect or a customer for your service. Do you really need to know everything about my next trip, every little detail? How many people, where we’re going. Also if I know all these things, like all of these decisions are really hard to make because I’m wondering, well what does an Asia team retreat cost versus a North American one? Well, you’re offering me options in some cases right? So where in the world do you want to go out of 100 different places? I’m not right quite sure. I’m actually intimidated by this because I don’t know the disparity in cost. And then you’re asking me resorts or individual this or that. In some ways, there’s things I really know. I know how many people I have, I probably know when in the year, right around what time I’m thinking about going and how long. Is it gonna be a week or two weeks? There’s some things I probably have a good idea of but then if you go into a ton more detail, you want to know every little thing. Like you’re asking me do I want private bedrooms, do I want a villa, do I want a house or a condo, do I want a resort? I don’t fucking know. I need consulting on this. I need to know what the difference in pricing is. I need to know, I need some help. I think this is such a complex tree of decisions that having a conversation and selling me on these things and guiding me through them is really important. So trying to force me to make all the decisions before I get in touch with you is probably the best way for me never to get in touch with you. I actually love this. I might want to use this. But if I have to go through this, I don’t know how good the chances are of me making it through your form. Because this is just overwhelming. You’re asking me do I want you to book my flights or do I do it myself. Honestly I don’t know. Depends. Maybe I want you to book them. Maybe I don’t. I need to understand how much more will I have to pay? Are you just better at finding cheap flights or good flights? What’s the benefit of having you do it versus me? There’s so many things I don’t know here and you’re asking me to make hard choices. I would be surprised if this, if this page converts really well I’d be surprised. I think this is overwhelming. You have to simplify it. Ask me the things I know. How many … my name, my email, where our business is, if we have an address even. We are a completely remote team but you are forcing me to give you an address. What do I do here? Do I give you my home address? What do I do? I’m not exactly sure. But ask me about the size of team, maybe just describe how many people you have, where are they in the world and when would you want to do the next retreat and everything else we can consult you and figure out. Organizing team retreats is difficult because there’s so many decisions to be made. I would want you to help me with those decisions and if I have to make everything, all decisions myself and I already have them then the value of your services is much diminished so, yes, simplify this form. Please, please, please. This is super overwhelming. It’s kind of my main feedback. This page is really tough to get through.



Hiten Shah: You really want to use their service, don’t you?



Steli Efti: Yeah, I love this. Because I know that-



Hiten Shah: That was a lot of great feedback. A lot of great feedback. I mean, especially what you said about their form and how, just, massive it is. Before anybody’s really invested anything into this thing.



Steli Efti: This is the type of thing I want to use, right? I want to be a buyer of this because I do know the pain of organizing team retreats with a remote team around the world. Coordinating this and doing all that is so much work. So I get it, but this is so hard to get through so simplify that page and I think you’ll see a lot more success. All right, let’s jump to the next page. The next page is called So I actually know this gentleman as well. He showed up at a few of our events I think in the past. So when I go on this page the main headline is asking me a question which is hiring developers question mark? Don’t talk to just anybody. Okay? And below that the sentence says, reads save 80% of your screening time using automated coding tests. Ah, okay, so this thing, I can set up some coding tests and people as they probably try to apply for my position have to take those tests and I set probably a certain benchmark and if they get to a certain benchmark then I see those applicants and if they don’t make it through that benchmark I never even look at them. That’s what I would assume this is just looking at it. And then there’s a big red button on, it says sign up free. This whole page, by the way, I really like it. It’s very clean, white simple background and very simple. It has a little bit of a Dropbox feel to, it’s kind of between Dropbox and Google. The button is very Googley. The button looks exactly like a Google button.



Hiten Shah: Yeah.



Steli Efti: But the rest of the home page if I took away the logo on the left, could be a Dropbox page. Just the blue and just the coloring and also the, below the graphics below. They look very Dropboxy. Not bad, I mean, Dropbox and Google, those are services that as a developer I probably like or I trust. So nothing to dislike about that. Okay, so then, when I want to scroll below the sign up free button, there’s a little graphic that shows me basically the old way and the new way and old you is like a developer that’s so overwhelmed because there’s a million people screaming hire me and the new way that little developer dude is super calm and happy because out of all that huge bunch of applicants only the ones that made it with three stars through the remote interview process I get to look at. So this is gonna save me a lot of time. I keep scrolling and it says some of our happy customers and it shows me a bunch of logos, many of them I don’t know. The one I know the best is Gilt Groupe. So that’s kind of cool but that’s kind of buried. It’s hard to, I had to search for that so maybe make that, Work Day actually is there as well. They have some good stuff in here. And then I see screen your callers faster with a bunch of information and a nice little CEO and co founder quote. Peer programing instead of phone interviews. Okay. And then featured in Forbes inc, Hacker Use, Reddit, all that stuff. A little map that shows me businesses in 700 cities use this thing. And then again save time and money. That’s their main value proposition. Sign up for free. Yeah, I like this. This is, I think fairly simple to understand. It’s a very competitive market. There’s a lot of these out there so, that’s kind of a question I have. How is this different, why is this better? It’s not answered. But this answers very clearly what is this and what is the value of it but if I already know this type of solution then it doesn’t tell me how it is different or better than what’s out there but overall I think this is pretty decent.



Hiten Shah: Yeah. I’d probably have a way more specific call to action instead of sign up for free. And even on the sign up page there’s no specific copy. A lot of people make this mistake where they make these call to actions and they make these sign up forms generic. But here it says literally, there’s the logo for remote interview and then it says welcome, lets get started.



Steli Efti: Oh right, yeah.



Hiten Shah: That’s not compelling at all. And there’s nothing specific. You could switch out that logo and it could be anything and since this company’s probably not that large, it’s not like people are familiar with the logo. So I would definitely make this page more compelling whether it’s with customer testimonials or simply just instead of welcome, let’s get started, you could say something like now you’re a few minutes away from your first remote interview. Right? That’s just, anything is better than what you have here. For the continuity. And then, when you say sign up for free, instead of that if it’s like hiring developers, don’t just, don’t talk to just anybody and then it says save 80% of your screen time using automated coding tests, I think the call to action would be a lot more specific which is, start your first, create your first remote interview or get your, what is it, something that basically hits on the value prop of remote interviews and the fact that you might be even doing automated coding tests if that’s your main value prop. Another button that you can use there would just be save candidate screening time. Start saving candidate screening time. I know that sounds long, but those kinds of buttons work really well ’cause they are attached to the copy that you use in the value proposition. Outside of that, I think you’re right, Steli. It’s not a bad page at all. It’s just these call to actions are very generic so that’s probably where I would get specific. And some of the copy at the bottom it says save time and money, sign up for free. Again, I could just take that in a style up and put it anywhere and it could mean anything for any site. So instead you want to be more specific. If you have to, repeat what you use at the top. They have this graphic that’s the old way and the new way which is something like intercom popularized. Basically the way the graphic works they didn’t totally rip it. So it doesn’t look that familiar to me. The old you and the new you is kind of cool there. I’m actually a fan of the way they did that. It is a little confusing as to like what their tool actually does when I see the old way and the new way but that’s okay. I’m sure it can be resolved. But it is compelling enough to get me to keep scrolling. Yeah, that’s mostly what I have to add. Otherwise, like I said. It’s pretty good overall. Just needs a lot of these tweaks around like, make it more specific to know what the value proposition of business is.



Steli Efti: Cool, good stuff. Do you think we have time for one more?



Hiten Shah: I don’t have time for one more right now.



Steli Efti: All right well that’s the ultimate tease for everybody out there. If you are one of the other thirty people that submitted a website and you’re like, no please look at my site as well. Well, checkout the next episode we probably will. Until then, keep rocking and rolling.



Hiten Shah: See ya.