Sunday, July 16, 2006

Are You Chasing Your Visitors Away?

To keep your visitors coming back, the main goals of
your website are for visitor participation and benefits.
Provide an interesting, beneficial and useful website
and they will come back!

If your site is annoying you can be sure they will find
another site to visit, never to come back to yours.

Here are some ways you can be sure to annoy your
visitors: (they might not annoy all, but probably the majority)

** Frames - Chopping up a site with frames is a great way
to get your visitors frustrated. These frames are very
obtrusive and make navigation and reading your site
much harder. They are also disliked by the search engine

** Overbearing Graphics - Not only are these blinking and
flashing graphics distracting and unnecessary, they can
also cause your site to download very slowly. Most
people do not have the time to sit and wait for an
extremely slow site, and will leave before even knowing
what your site has to offer.

** No Contact Information - I cannot stress enough how
important it is to have your email address and other
contact info on every page. This will add credibility
to your site and always give your visitors a reason to
be assured that you can be reached when needed.

** Hard To Navigate -You want your visitors to be able
to get around your site without trouble. Have your
links all together in a place that is easily seen. Have
them in the same place on every page.

** Inconsistent Page Design - I have been on some sites
where after clicking on a link, I didn't even know if
I was at the same site. The page was totally different
and did not have any of the same information or links
as the previous page. After trying to find what I was
looking for and not finding it, I left. Please keep
your site design uniform and consistent. This will
make it much easier on your visitors.

** Spelling and Grammar – Always proofread your web
pages. Designing and building a professional website
is a waste of time if it reads like a five year old
wrote it. With spell checker, grammar checker,
dictionaries, etc. there is no excuse for poorly written
web pages!

** Too Many Banners -If you want banners on your site,
set up a banner exchange page for this purpose only. Do
not have your homepage or other pages so loaded with
banners that there isn't room for anything else.

** Hard To Read Text - Do not use fancy text or pale
text on a pale background. The easiest to read is a dark
text on a light background. Also, if you use a textured
or print background, be sure that it is not hard on the
eyes. One site I visited had a weave look background
that made the text so hard to read, after a few minutes
of looking around I had to leave because I was getting
a headache. If you think it is easy to see get a few
more opinions just to be sure!

** Music - Music used to be very common on the web.
Practically every site you went to had music. More and
more people started realizing that this was a major
distraction and annoyance to a lot of people. If you
really want music, have a choice for your visitors.
Let them decide if they want the music.

** Lack of Content -You've got to have content. People
visit a website to see what the site has that will
benefit them. Useful, helpful, practical content can't
be beat! This would include resources, freebies, tips,
ideas, information, interaction, contests, etc.

One thing you can do is visit several sites that pertain
to your business. Study these sites and write down
what you find annoying. Write down any reasons you
have for leaving the site. Take note of what you like
about these sites. Incorporate all these findings into
creating a sharp, clean, useful website with nothing
that will chase away your visitors!

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