name this scale

Problem: internet marketing can be complicated, and asking an internet marketing agency to evaluate your site can be a hassle because they can give too much detail.

Solution: a scale that quickly, simply measures 4 key components of any webpage.
1. Text brevity and meaning- how well does the text communicate the meaning of the page?
2. Image brevity and meaning- same criteria.
3. Design congruence- does the site match the message?
4. Call to Action- is it obvious what users should do?

Each factor is rated from 0-3:
0- absent
1- poor
2- good
3- remarkable

Notice there is no middle ground. This is not to be a deeply insightful tool, but a very quick analysis tool.

Text, image, and design can have between 0-3 points each. Call to action is double weighted, for a possible 15 points.

5= poor
10= good
15= remarkable

Let’s do a test run on our homepage, Portent Interactive:
1. Text: 2. The headlines are specific and interesting to a defined audience. There is not too much text- just enough for the reader to be interested.
2. Image: 1.5. The main image is text on a background, and the secondary image is the Google Adwords Certified logo. This is okay for what we do, but what about who is behind the company? A picture of the CEO with a quote about what his firm does could earn a 3.
3. Design: 2. The design communicates the message that we are professionals who know what we are doing. Many clients and prospects have remarked on how crisp the site looks. The design places the Services and Portfolio links at the top middle, where they are easily accessible.
4. Call to action: 1. What are we supposed to do? I see a search box and a newsletter signup box. Is that the goal of this page? I also see news articles on the bottom. Is that the point? Not totally clear.

Overall score on the Keith scale: 7.5 (Not 6.5)/15. Meaning: good design needs a clear call to action for a website to really do well.

NOTE: Our website does well. Just because I came up with a scale that says it is not wonderful does not mean that it isn’t. It means that a simple tool does not always get to the heart of matters. BUT, the tool clearly points out an area for improvement, and it points it out fast, without any hassle, which is the goal.

Questions for you: first, is calling this the Keith Scale way too… I don’t know, egotistical? And second, find a URL you care about, evaluate it on the Keith Scale, and post it here. Let’s see how many quick ideas for improvement we can generate for people.

12 Responses to “name this scale”

  1. 1 Math Whiz January 5, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    If call to action is double-weighted, shouldn’t Portent’s score be 7.5/15?

  2. 2 brianatportent January 5, 2007 at 4:33 pm


    Good point.

  3. 3 Mark Esterhaas January 8, 2007 at 11:51 am


    longtime lister, firsttime poster. i’m new to marketing on the internet and was curious how my website would rate on your scale.

    please find the url below:

    many thanks!

  4. 4 brianatportent January 8, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Text- very little, straight to the point- 3
    Image- Again, very clear, I think a bit more color could add something, including entry wounds, so just 2.5
    Design- clean, concise, carries the message- 2.5
    Call to Action- involves an awful lot of work, and is messy. The ideal call to action is fairly simple, like signing up for a newsletter. So I have to say 1.

    3+2.5+2.5+2=10, a good site.


  5. 5 Mark Esterhaas January 8, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    thank you for your quick feedback!

    is the call to action somehow unobvious? the criteria for rating is described as “4. Call to Action- is it obvious what users should do?”

    do you feel there is a way i can better clarify what it is that i would like visitors to do?


  6. 6 brianatportent January 8, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    I would recommend using incremental steps. Such as “download a PDF on how to kill the people you care about” or “read our article on how to identify the 4 people you most care about.”

    Anything to get visitors to get involved with your message.

    Killing someone, like buying a car, is a bit investment, and carries not a little bit of risk. So help visitors slowly get into your mindset.

    What kind of incremental calls to action could you give?

  7. 7 Mark Esterhaas January 8, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    hi again!

    that’s a good thought! i imagine that visitors to my site are eager and enthusiastic. but perhaps you’re right and they’re looking for advice on how to get started.

    do you think it would be possible for me to provide more detailed help without impacting my text brevity score? i’m glad it’s perfect now and i wouldn’t want to lower it!

  8. 8 brianatportent January 8, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    I think this is a good time to look beyond simple scores and get to the real meaning of your page.

    Is this page about you, or your visitor? If it is about them, then are you trying to get them to kill everyone they care about, or just think about the possibility of all their loved ones being murdered by them with a big knife?

    The meaning of a page can rise above the Keith scale, on certain occasions.

  9. 9 Mark Esterhaas January 8, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    i find it interesting that you have to pose that question! i suppose my call to action really isn’t clear enough. and here i was thinking i was clear and concise. boy– am i glad i consulted you first!

    perhaps you could show me how i could redesign my site such that it would score perfectly on your scale? i want to make sure my message resonates with my visitor base.

  10. 10 brianatportent January 8, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Mark, I think I will leave that as an exercise to the student. Thanks for your interest.

  11. 11 Karl Klaven January 9, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Greetings! I just happened to come by your blog and I was wondering what you thought of our group’s website:

    Personally, while I appreciate all of the work Jim has done on the websight, I am not a fan of the splash (is that what it’s called? whatever, the introduction) screen.

    Particularly, while our Icon does show that we are bow hunters, I do not like the fact that Jim has drawn it with the bow drawn and aimed off to the side. I feel this detracts from our message of Strong Hunters of Men of America and instead portays us as a bit like pansies.

    We’ve got a lot of those around here, you know the type – against concealed weapons licenses, always wears a foofoo folding piece of s**t Swiss-crappy-knife on their belt instead of a real knife, the kind of guy who doesn’t know how to field-dress a squrriel much less a deer. Fruits. I told Jim that the Icon should be redrawn to be shown with the arrow aimed directly at the viewer.

    Anyways, any thoughts on the website as a whole?

  12. 12 brianatportent January 9, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    My main response is, what is the purpose of your site? So you want to help people find God, and you want to be with a group doing it.

    And? Finding God is a really big step. What is a smaller advance towards that goal?

    I would look at as an example of a Blogger blog that serves pretty well for that organization.

    It would be pretty simple to organize a blog with the pages you want, and if you all can figure out what specific actions you want people to take, then writing on a weekly or daily basis will help you do that.

    May I ask how you happened to come by my blog?

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I'm now blogging about internet marketing at

Red Beard Consulting

At Red Beard Consulting I work on internet marketing primarily for speakers. I also work with Infusionsoft.

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