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Web Design Take On Back Button And How To Take Advantage Of It

Nov 10, 2007
As a web designer, you should know that the Back Button is one of the most vital buttons found on any web page. You should not rely on your web design company to inform you about this.

If you have been browsing through web design companies and sites for a long time now, you will most likely realize this on your own. Unfortunately, most web designers seem to take the Back Button for granted when they implement their web design. It is not too uncommon to see a "back to home/start" or simply "back" links incorporated into pages being designed.

However, unless you make sure that these links have built-in logic to know exactly which page your visitor was before they clicked on these links (as the highly-efficient Back Button does), these back links you put into your pages will seem like sham that gets by only by guessing the path which your online visitors took.

How People Browse the Web
Most online users visit a web site to simply skim through it. If they think that the site does not give them what they need or does not contain any interesting information to read, they simply leave. That said, there is no quicker way out of any web page than, yes, the Back button!

People don't seem to even realize that they click on it every so often. They simply sit and browse through site after site with their mouse pointing right over the scroll bar area ready to scroll up and down. And then, unless the site has something interesting for them, they pull their mouse just right up to the upper left hand of the browser to go back to where they were previously.

Do Not Try To Impact This Negatively
All web designers have one thing in common in relation to this. Whichever web design company you belong to or whichever tool you use, you definitely would not like them to leave your webpage.

In desperate attempt to do this, some web designers come up with web design strategies to prevent visitors from leaving the site. Some do things such as pop the page into a chromeless window with no back button. Some even close down the original window to open a new one that does not have controls.

This can be really annoying so that the image you will create for your web design company will not be pleasing. Most importantly, it will not make your site web design more usable or interesting since you have crippled your customers with the standard methods to get around.

As soon as they figure out for themselves how they can leave your site, they will do so immediately and will most likely not return. You would not want your client or your web design company to get ruined because of this, wouldn't you? So, try not to get that back button away from your readers. Instead, take advantage of it.

How to Take Advantage
Taking advantage of the back button does not mean putting in text that goes "click the back button in the upper left of your browser to go back." Your visitors know this already, and you do not want them to feel stupid by giving them instructions to do something that simple.

Instead, you should only keep in mind that they are bound to use the back button and prepare for that. Here are some ways that you can plan for this:

1. When web designing put your branding or advertising right near the back button. Putting your brand right up there will give it more attention that is not as likely anywhere else.

2. Make the items near the area clickable. Your logo should first and foremost be clickable. Besides that, you should also make sure that the other text or graphic elements at the upper left area of your page are clickable as well. If you do it this way, they just might go somewhere else related on your site if they miss the back button.

3. Take advantage of server logs as well to check where they came from before finding you. Your web design company and client alike will highly appreciate this information. Not only that, you can also use this as well. If you, for example, know what your visitors usually go back to, you can directly address that site on your page, maybe even with dynamic elements that could only display when they are coming from that particular location. For instance, someone who is coming from a search engine may not know how to search your site.

Remember in your web design that your site will be much more helpful if you include details such as how to search on your pages. Doing this might get them to stay longer, much to the appreciation of your client and your web design company.
About the Author
Moe Tamani is a Marketing expert with a leading SEO services company specializing in SEO web design.
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