Since we added Apple.com to the siteIQ eBusiness Index this year, I’ve been dying to get my hands on its evaluation results. They just came in last week.

Just for the record, I’ve always been a big fan of Apple.com. It has all of the hallmarks of an Apple product. Simple. Innovative. Easy to use. And, a visual tour de force.

That’s why I was amazed when I saw how it scored based on our best practice benchmarks. Let’s just say that I almost fell out of my chair.

Here’s five things that you probably don’t know about Apple.com.

1. There’s no social media. Given that Apple has a gazillion acolytes & groupies, you’d think that this site would be jam packed with social media. Go ahead and look. No links. No likes. No connections of any kind.

2. A feather-lite community footprint. In a world where product managers & execs are using communities (and corporate blogs) to discuss their company’s vision, strategy, and products, Apple.com’s communities are limited to the classic break/fix support genre (which are tracked in the support section of our benchmark) — and a savvy set of buyer communities dedicated to moving the purchase process along.

3. Events. What events? Earlier this year Apple.com shot its events zone in favor of promoting local events on its store pages. Intrepid surfers can still find old events using search. Other than that — nope, nada.

Earlier this year Apple.com shot its events zone in favor of promoting local events on its store pages.

4. Services marketing & industry marketing are no shows. To be fair, Apple.com tries a passing glance at education in its Mac section, which does a fair to middling job of promoting education-centered apps. Other than that, Apple.com is a general-purpose marketing machine. As for services, they don’t have a home on Apple.com. To the extent they exist, they are promoted on the landing page for each of Apple’s retail stores. Not much there, either.

5. Training is DIY. Apple.com’s training & education footprint is the size of a newt, nestled in the site’s support zone under the moniker “Video Tutorials”. To be fair, Apple.com probably doesn’t need a robust training area. Installing and using Apple products is fall-off-a-log easy – and mission critical anythings are few and far between.

The Bottom Line

And what about the rest of the site? A view of evaluation results by category will tell you an important thing. Apple.com is the pluperfect example of Steve Jobs’ lifelong mantra about “doing a few things well”.

In a world where most Websites must serve at least 20 masters, Apple.com is laser focused on five things.

    1. Creating calls to action and promoting ecommerce/purchasing are front and center.
    2. Innovative and interactive design elements rank second – and
    3. Support, (4) search, and (5) product marketing complete the picture.

Everything else – especially corporate amenities — takes a back seat.

Apple.com is focused on five things. Everything else -- especially corporate marketing -- takes a back seat.

Of course, the devil’s always in the details, and that’s why I’ll be posting a new case study in the Library that drills down into Apple.com’s strengths and weaknesses – and why it might not be the right muse for your Website.

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