Website Visitors - June 2004

We are all hoping that our website will attract visitors that will either buy our product / service or at least contact us with a valid enquiry.

If you want to send visitors away from your site for good - just follow these five ways and your site will be a ghost town in no time.

No. 1 - Clog Up Their Internet Connection

Imagine it. They're happily surfing around on Google looking for whatever you offer and everything's going smoothly.

Your website appears in the first page listings (congratulations you must have employed 12website or another highly-esteemed website marketing ompany!) and they click through to you. Then their internet connection starts to clog up. It is positively groaning and creaking under the strain of downloading your homepage which has so many images it takes over 30 seconds to appear.

They look at the progress bar at the bottom of their screen. It reads
'20%'. They look at their watch and then click on the little 'X' at the top right of their screen. Well done - you've just sent away a visitor or customer for good.

No. 2 - 'I am not a Number - I am a free Man'

Along come some more visitors. They lick their lips in anticipation of viewing your widgets which they are very interested in buying - they have their credit card handy.

They land on your homepage and all is well, at first. "The benefits of choosing Widgets Inc. are as follows..." Your homepage is laden with customer-focused benefits and selling points - excellent. But wait a minute. What's that at the bottom of the page? It's not what I think it is, is it? Oh dear, there in black and white is one of the fundamental no-nos in web design that is guaranteed to send the message "This website was built by my dog":

"Welcome - you are visitor number 102"

Regardless of the number (and let's face it 80% are either you or your family!) you will be sending away people in droves. Well done - your site is becoming less busy by the day. Let's move on to way number three.. More info on website redesign.

No. 3 - "Help me Buy from You - Please..."

They're lost. You have built the site around what seems a
logical approach but your visitors are lost. You've given
most prominence to testimonials but they just want to send you
an email. They click on three, four and sometimes five pages but
can't find your phone number or email address anywhere. But it's
okay - of course they have a spare quarter of an hour to hunt
through your website (that doesn't have a site map) to find your
contact details when they already have another window open with
your competitor's website - complete with email address, phone
number, fax number, street address, mobile number, map and GPS

Yes - you've guessed it - you're one step closer to that
ghost-town.. Read more about
website links.

Business marketing

No. 4 - 'Please Let Me Watch Intro'

Yes, admit it - you once thought the best thing on the planet
was a website that started up by having a revolving animation
of the company logo that exploded, spin round a bit to an 80s
sounding techno tune and then re-constitute itself in the centre
of the screen with the immortal words:

"Click here to enter site"

Strange that - "enter site". That's what all your visitors were
trying to do when they typed in your web address or clicked on
your link but instead they were faced with Jean Michelle Jarre
and some possessed bit of code that replicated the effect of
someone regurgitating your business' corporate identity over the
screen. Nice. Flash intro = trash intro. Use 'em (the intros) and
lose 'em (the visitors).

Business marketing

No. 5 - "I am five years' old - I like things that flash"

One day in the future a law will be passed that will make it
illegal to use scrolling text, flashing images, rotating heads,
animated animals and bouncing cursors on a website. Your website
is here to do business. It is supposed to be a serious tool in
your marketing armoury. It should be used to convey useful
information to your visitors and convince them that you are
worth doing business with. Dress it up with flashing icons,
swirling graphics, flashing logos and spinning pictures and the
merry-go of visual delights will just make your visitors sick.
They will leave your glitzy fairground never to return.

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