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I'm sure you've all heard the saying 'Build it and they will come'. Although that may have been true a few years ago, now we must work, and work hard, to get visitors to our websites.
You can't always control who visits, however, you can have some control over who stays.
Here are a few website no-no's that I have come accross that made me leave without even clicking past the first page.
1. Slow loading pages - For those of us still on dial-up internet access this is one of the primary reason for not hanging around.
2. Curser followers - We've all seen them, those little dots or letters that follow the curser around the page. They are so annoying that I don't even bother to read the first paragraph.
OK, so maybe there is a place for them. If you have a site based on entertaining children then perhaps you can use them effectively. However, if your site is focused on getting signups for your affiliate programs try to keep it professional looking.
3. Flash Intro - These are not as bad as they used to be due to the fact that most search engines can spider and index them now.
What is annoying though is when a site has a flash intro and does not give the visitor a way to skip it and go directly into the site. Again this is particularly bad for those with dial-up connection. If I have to sit and watch a little colored bar that says 'loading', guess what, I'm gone. Always give your visitor a means to skip the intro if they want to.
4. Colored backgrounds and printing - Have you ever had to get up close to your monitor to read the words on a website? I have and I can tell you that I didn't read too many lines before I was gone.
There are definitely some color schemes you should stay away from. For example, red letters on a black background are extremely hard to read. I'm sure you have come accross some yourself that were sure-fire triggers for the 'back' button.
Simple black letters on a white background is your best bet for easy reading. Also be sure to keep your paragraphs short and have lots of 'white space' on your page.
I'm not saying not to use colors in your site, there have been many studies that indicate certain colors trigger certain respones, however, you really need to experiment to get the right combination.
5. Animated Banners - DO NOT put animated banners on your home page.
Banners, animated or not, are images and can slow down the loading of your page. Also, animated banners are distracting and if you distract your visitor from the main purpose of your site......there goes a possible sale.
I know that many people just starting out are using Banner Exchanges as a means of getting visitors to their site. That's OK just don't put them on your home page. Put them at the bottom of all the rest of the pages if you want, just not on your index page. Remember, if your home page is strong enough to capture your visitors' interest, they will click on more pages and you will get your banner impression.
6. Too much on one page - I've seen some sites where the owner has just about every affiliate program he belongs to on his home page.
If I type a keyword into a search engine and click on the first site that comes up, I want to be able to find what I'm looking for without having to sift through paragraph upon paragraph of other advertisements and affiliate links. If your visitors don't think they will find what they came to find, you'll lose them.
You should use your home page to welcome your visitors and tell them exactly what they want to know. If your site is about pet grooming, tell them that right from the start. Let them know the kind of information they can expect to find on each of your pages. Make sure your navigation is easy to follow by having the main navigation bar at the top left of your page and putting links throughout the text.
Your home page should lead your visitors to the rest of your site, that's where you do your selling.
Those are a few of the deterants that I have found while searching for information on the internet. I hope you will be able to use this information to make your own sites more user friendly and keep your visitors from clicking away.
Randy Justason is the Owner/Webmaster of MLM Wonders - http://www.mlmwonders.com - A website dedicated to opportunities, ideas and resources for starting a home based business on the internet. You can subscribe to the MLM Wonders free monthly Newsletter at: [email protected]
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