Why is it that some websites attract visitors and get them to linger longer than usual whereas others annoy the pants off their web visitors? It may be the way you’ve designed your website. Here are some ways you can make (or break) your website.
A website is a constant work-in-progress. You may have designed it three months ago but you would still need to constantly work on it to make it easier for your web visitors to find their way around your website.
I’ve been asked what makes some websites stand out and why some websites just fail to impress.
Why is it that some websites attract visitors and get them to linger longer than usual whereas others annoy the pants off their web visitors? It has nothing to do with your luck. The reason may lie in the way you’ve designed your website.
Keep in mind that you have one chance to impress your web visitors and if you don’t, they probably won’t come back again. If you have an attractive website, you can be sure they’ll come back, bookmark it or even better, recommend others to view your website.
Here are 5 things that can make (or break) your website.
Avoid Page Counters
Never place page counters on your website, especially if your website does not get millions of hits. A page counter is a clear reminder of the early days of the web where everyone wanted to track the number of visitors they were getting. Page counters were notoriously used when people built their personal websites but somehow, it has slowly migrated to business websites as well. These days, you can request from your web hosting company better software to help you track your visitors plus it’s all hidden too. You don’t have to advertise that you have had (only) 548 visitors since September 2001.
Avoid Page Under Construction
When a web page of yours is not yet ready to be seen by the rest of the web world, don’t upload that particular web page. It does disappoint web visitors if they click on a web link and expect to see information, only to be greeted with a “Page Under Construction” sign. Or worse, “This page is under construction. Please come back soon”. Sorry, most people would forget about your website in less than 24 hours, much less come back to it!
Avoid Excessive Use of Graphics
Graphics such as photos or illustrations capture attention but do not go overboard. Excessive use of graphics is like having too much of ice cream, one tends to get jaded after the fifth helping of ice cream. If you want to keep web visitors coming back, use graphics sparingly. Also, avoid the kitschy stuff that blinks, jumps or follows your mouse. Remember, less is always more.
Display Address and Other Contact Details
The Internet is an impersonal medium. Once you understand this, you will understand why creating closeness and building relationships are so crucial online, especially if you intend to sell your products and services using this medium.
One of the ways to show that you are a genuine business is to provide a real, physical address on every page of your website. Besides address, other contact details you can display include your name (complete with surname please), your phone and fax numbers together with email addresses if you like.
Have a “Contact Us” form
While you may have displayed your address and other contact details, it does not hurt to have a Contact Us web page. If you have a Contact Us web page, ensure that you have a Contact Us form within that web page to enable web visitors to easily contact you.
While it is safe to assume that each web visitor is seated in front of his PC, there may be times when a web visitor is using a PC which is not his.
If there is no Contact Us form available for him to fill, once he clicks on an email address, it will open an email client programme such as Outlook Express. The problem is, if it is not his PC, there will be problems if you wish to get back to him later. Always make it easy for your web visitors so have a “Contact Us” form built into your web page.