Simple Ways to Make Your Web Site More Useful to Your Visitors

Dec 12 11:46 2008 John Simmonds Print This Article

As a web site owner it is important to recognize your target market and make it as simple as possible for your potential customers to find your products or services. Internet users can be impatient, and with no shortage of competition, visitors can quickly lose interest in your web site and move on to the next one in the search results. Now, if you have this particular problem then at least you have traffic going to your web site and it's simply a matter of how to keep your visitors interested. This article will touch on some of the common mistakes I see on web sites.

As a web site owner it is important to recognize your target market and make it as simple as possible for your potential customers to find your products or services. Internet users can be impatient,Guest Posting and with no shortage of competition, visitors can quickly lose interest in your web site and move on to the next one in the search results. Now, if you have this particular problem then at least you have traffic going to your web site and it's simply a matter of how to keep your visitors interested. This article will touch on some of the common mistakes I see on web sites.

I see a lot of different web sites from all sorts of industries everyday and there are a few basic mistakes I see quite frequently that are easily fixed. This isn't about the design or the SEO, but the simple and most basic details that are often overlooked. For example, let's say I'm a DJ and have my own DJ company called "John's DJ Services". My web site has been designed to showcase my offered services, display images from past events, and even some testimonials from previous clients. I have contact information including my company email address and a phone number. Sound like a pretty good web site concept? Not bad, but what's missing? Where is this DJ company located? What area of the city, country, or world are these great services being offered? It's unbelievable how hard it can be at times to determine where geographically a company is offering it's service based on its web site. I often find myself using Google to search the area code in their phone number just to find out what part of the world the company is in! The only reason I even bother is because I am evaluating their web site for them by request. If I was a potential customer there is no way I would waste my time and I would be off to the next site. I see this on a daily basis and I guarantee it is costing these companies money.

The point here isn't to make fun of web sites or their lack of such details. What I really want to say is that sometimes there are some very simple ways to improve your web site without spending a dollar on SEO or expensive redesigns. Web site designers often overlook these details as well because they are focused more on the visual look of a site, and generally only use the content provided by their customer. SEO companies often take a web site designed by someone else and clean up the code, and embark on elaborate link development campaigns also sometimes overlooking the most simple details. However as a business owner it is important for you to think about your web site from your customer's perspective and not from your designer or SEO companies. You know your customer's needs and wants. Designers and SEO companies know how to showcase your products and services, but they are not experts in your field.

When looking at either designing a new web site, updating a current web site, or increasing your traffic to either, first take a step back and ask yourself, "if a customer was looking for my product or service and found my web site, would he or she find it useful?" If a customer in St. Louis is looking for a "health spa" to visit and can't find yours, perhaps you should make sure that your web site clearly states: "St Louis Health Spa - Relax at Sarah's Health Spa". Display this somewhere easy to see like in your title tag and in your heading tags. Don't make the user search for this information, this is just as important as the actual service you're offering. Think of the internet as a big shopping mall except all the shoppers are lost and have no idea what city they're in. They have an idea of what they want, but they have no idea where to find it. Make it easy for them to get the information they seek.

Another common mistake I see regularly on web sites is the "intro page". First of all, what is it trying to accomplish by being there? It's telling me what I already know: I'm at this web site. Let's visit this problem from a potential customer's perspective and I'm the customer. I'm using Google to search for a "seafood restaurant in San Francisco". I get the first page results and see that the first is from google maps, and the next two are directories, before seeing the fourth result is an actual restaurant's web site. So I will start with that one. I click the link to the site and after waiting 15-20 seconds for the page to load, I'm shown a visually stunning "intro page". At this point I have already spent more time than I wanted to with this web site, and I'm thinking about hitting the back button and moving on to the next result. What if I'm trying to load your web site in my hotel room and have week wireless internet signal? Now instead of taking 15-20 seconds to load, it could be up to a minute! I guarantee now that I won't be dining at your establishment. The point here isn't that all visitors are going to be annoyed by your intro page and leave, but many will. Why would you want any potential customers to leave your web site before even having a chance to turn them in actual customers?

The solution here again is simple. Do away with the senseless intro page. In fact do away with anything on your home page as well that will slow down the loading of your web site. Small images are great for most people's internet connections and browsers, but text is obviously the best. It's quick and to the point, which is how you want your visitors to find your web site.

Think like your customers, walk in their shoes and you will have more success at meeting their needs.

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About Article Author

John Simmonds
John Simmonds

John Simmonds is a co-founder of Optimize4Engines, providing affordable SEO and search engine friendly web site design, specializing in small business.

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