The following analysis was conducted on Deadeye Carry Solutions, Inc.’s website in association with a class at Northern Illinois University.
I am not the sole author of this document. Additional credit goes to Brianna Linco, Kendra Castleberry, Leah Pointer, Kristina Elmore, and Justin Archer.
Deadeye Carry Solutions, Inc. Website Usability Analysis
Robert Linco is the owner and operator of Deadeye Carry Solutions, Inc. He specializes in customized concealed carry gun belts that fit any customer’s taste. Robert currently sells 5 different styles of belts, along with 3 different base webbing colors, 16 different accent webbings, and 13 different stitch colors. He also sells other small accessories like ornaments and ulticlips. The company is located in Antioch, Illinois. Current Deadeye Carry customers are very satisfied with their belts and appreciate the customer service and short lead times the company offers.
According to data, Deadeye Cary has a wide range of ages that visit the website. The primary age groups are between 18 and 34; however, it does have visitors that are 65 and older. Robert is currently focusing on concealed carry licenses holders and utility employees of all ages as his target market. Robert is graciously letting us analyze his website because he wants to improve deadeyecarry.com to expand his customer base. As a group, we are going to provide some recommendations to enhance his website.
Deadeye Carry’s website is lacking compared to those of its competitors. The competitors Robert is struggling to compete against are Blue Alpha Gear, Brown Coat Tactical, LLC, and Original Special Operations Equipment (most-commonly known as SOE). One area Robert can improve in is adding content to his website on a daily basis. SOE has a “Recent Posts” heading on its home page where employees frequently write very short blog posts about holidays approaching, new gear coming soon, and more. Blue Alpha Gear has its social media icons at the bottom of its home page. Deadeye Carry’s website does not provide links to its social media channels. All three competitors have a lot more products and accessories to offer compared to Deadeye Carry. They also have more product reviews, as Deadeye Carry currently only has two reviews on Facebook and a few on its website. These are areas we believe Robert needs to address in order to keep up with his competition in the online sphere.
Our team has completed a full website analysis of Deadeye Carry. We would rate this site a 3 out of 5 (on a scale of 1 to 5 for appearance and usability). In regards to loading time, Deadeye Carry loads quickly in Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Edge. It also loads quickly on both iOS and Android. Website Grader reports that the site has a page speed of 2.2 seconds, which is great considering you typically want a page speed of under 3 seconds.
Contact information about Deadeye Carry Solutions is pretty easy to access. There is a “Contact Us” link at the top of the home page. This link takes you to a page that displays the business address, phone number, and a link to Google Maps pinpointing the location. Below that there is a contact form that you can use to send a message to the business, which qualifies this page as a landing page. This page, along with the “My Account” and “Become an Affiliate” pages, which prompt visitors to log in with or create an account, are the only landing pages on the site. Towards the bottom on the home page there is another menu. This menu has a “Store Hours” link, which in fact takes you to a page displaying Deadeye Carry’s store hours. Finally, the footer of the website reads, “Questions? Give us a call at 224-908-8032.”
As for the layout of the Deadeye Carry website, it could be modified to be more effective. As it stands, Deadeye Carry is not taking full advantage of the golden triangle. Deadeye Carry’s current golden triangle consists of a horizontal navigation pane across the top as well as the logo, which we think is good. In the upper right corner, however, is simply a shopping cart icon, which serves no purpose to anyone other than customers who have already been converted. Taking up the entire middle section of the page is an auto-scrolling image viewer consisting of six photos. There is nothing on the lower left side of the golden triangle. This is pretty much all there is above the fold: the navigation pane, the shopping cart, the logo, links to a handful of pages, and the image viewer. Some things we think should be above the fold and potentially part of the golden triangle are current sales promotions and links to Deadeye Carry’s social media channels.
On Freegrader, Deadeye Carry’s website received a score of 60/100. It was knocked for inadequate social engagement, customer engagement, site files, headings, and site description. It received good marks for freshness (having been recently updated), analytics, contact info, image descriptions, site title, and mobile friendliness. This last point is not very surprising as Deadeye Carry uses a responsive web design, so it looks virtually the same on mobile as it does on desktop. Meanwhile, Website Grader rated the website an 84/100. Deadeye Carry was given a 24/30 for performance, a 30/30 for mobile, a 20/30 for SEO, and a 10/10 for security. Finally, we ran Deadeye Carry’s website through Google’s Test My Site in order to test mobile speed. Google reported that Deadeye Carry’s loading time on 3G is poor, averaging at 14 seconds and causing an estimated 32% visitor loss.
Website Redesign Recommendations:
Social Media/Internet Marketing Recommendations:
Currently, Deadeye Carry has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We recommend it add YouTube to this list. One of the problems Robert has expressed is that it is difficult to convey the sturdiness of his belts over the internet. This is a huge problem considering sturdiness is one of the key differentiators of his product. A video may be better suited to showing off this characteristic. If embedded into the home page above the fold, it could potentially keep visitors on the site longer and drive conversions.
As for the channels it currently occupies, we recommend Deadeye Carry focus most heavily on Facebook, then Instagram, and lastly Twitter. As of this analysis, Deadeye Carry’s Facebook page has 954 likes. Deadeye Carry has launched Facebook ad campaigns in the past designed to drive likes on its page. The goal is to reach 5,000 likes before launching ads designed to generate sales. We recommend continuing these campaigns when funds allow it. Deadeye Carry also sees a lot of interaction on Instagram. It regularly posts images on Instagram that often receive 30, 40, 50, or even 60 likes. Twitter is by far its weakest social media channel with only six followers. We do not recommend focusing too hard on Twitter at this moment.
Keywords to Drive Traffic to Website:
The most recent addition to Deadeye’s product line is the XLP style gun belt. Most visitors do not know what the style looks like, its advantages or if another buckle suits them better. To Robert’s knowledge, none of his competitors are using the XLP belt. Robert should promote the XLP belt on his website and social media by using videos, pictures, and hashtags to show what this buckle has to offer and how it fits a person’s waistline. One way to drive customers to his website is by using short-tail and long-tail keywords. Some short-tail keywords that Robert can use to increase traffic to the website are: belt, belt buckle, belt sizes, utility belt, conceal carry belt, tactical belt, gun belt, quality belt, handmade belt, cobra belt, XLP belt, EDC belt, Hybrid buckle, ulticlip, gun ornaments, and belt resize. Some long-tail keywords are: customize your own gun belt, customize your own utility belt, gun belts made in the USA, utility belt made in the USA, gun belt clip made in the USA, high quality gun belts, high quality utility belt, heavy duty gun belts and heavy duty utility belts.
Deadeye Carry’s website includes many links from the home page. These links include “About Us,” “Gift Registry,” “Belt Sizing,” “Lead Times,” “Custom Belts,” “Accessories,” and more. They are appropriately titled, so it should not be difficult for customers to find what they are looking for. All links are available at the top of the page at all times. Some pages lead to pages that include more links. While the pages are typically straightforward and easy to use, most of them have very little content. This may cause customers to feel the site is a bit plain and boring. A better way to structure the site may be to group certain pieces of content together on a single page rather than making them separate pages. Another way to combat this would be to simply add more content to the pages. As it stands, however, Deadeye Carry has a healthy amount of inbound links, devoid of content as the pages may be.
As far as outbound links, Deadeye Carry Solutions does not have any. This is surprising because the company has an active presence on Facebook and Instagram. A customer who finds the website through a search engine, orders a belt, and loves it would probably be happy to like Deadeye Carry’s Facebook page. It is entirely possible, however, that that customer has no idea Deadeye Carry has a Facebook page, or at least they do not think about it like they would if there was a link to it displayed prominently on the site. This is a problem when you have a set goal for your Facebook page as Robert does, especially when this hypothetical customer’s Facebook friends might all practice concealed carry. Deadeye Carry’s website should include links to each of its social media pages. An option to share its website on different social platforms would also be very beneficial.