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Does Your Website Turn People On or Turn Them Away?

Nov 17, 2007
Websites either repel or attract. Each person who views your site will decide in a couple of seconds whether to stay on the site and read what you have to say, or hit the "Back" button and go somewhere else instead. You can't worry about keeping every single person on your site - the trick is keeping the people you want, and letting the others go. To put it another way, you want to send the right message to the right people.

There are "wrong people" to have looking at your website, and it's really not a bad thing if your website repels them. Some people will get to your site by accidentally clicking on a link, or by doing a poorly-worded internet search, or with a simple typo. Or maybe they just have the wrong idea about what products and services you sell. However they got to your site, those people are not going to buy anything from you, so there's no need to keep them around any longer than you have to. You definitely don't want them fumbling around your site for a while, getting confused, and then calling your customer service team to find out that they went to the wrong website. So, you do want to repel them, but you should try to repel them with clear communication-your front page should say, first and foremost, who you are and what you do. Don't add a bunch of unrelated images or links to muddy the waters. Just state your business. That will send away the people you don't want, and more importantly, welcome in the people you do want.

As long as your front page makes sense, it should be fairly easy for you to discourage the wrong people from using all of your bandwidth. The more important thing is encouraging the right people, once they've found your site, to stay there. This shouldn't be terribly difficult, either, but there are all sorts of things you can do to drive people away.

There are some technical issues to consider first. If your site is slow to open, you're shooting yourself in the foot. Slow pages are one of the most common reasons for users to abandon a website. Don't load your site down (especially the front page) with large images, Flash animations, or anything else that cause a delay on the user's end. Think of Google's front page as an example-it's just a logo, a search tool, and a bunch of white space, and it opens instantly. Granted, you'll probably need to put more than that on your front page, but try to keep it simple. Also, if you're having problems with your hosting service or ISP, don't turn a blind eye to them. Make sure that anyone who wants to see your website will be able to do it.

Do everything you can to make your website easy to read. Choose soothing colors, and don't put blue text on a green background. Use plain, widely-used fonts for your text. People who are using older web browsers may not be able to view non-standard fonts. Remember not to cram too much text on one page-wide margins make for easier reading.

Be sure that your content is appropriate for your audience. Don't make it too technical or too simplistic. You'll insult your customers if you err on either side. Keep it appropriate in other ways as well-think "Rated G" or "Rated PG." Unless your business requires you to be edgy or adult-oriented, you don't want to risk your site being blocked by a parental filter or corporate "watchdog" program.

Finally, don't impose your own personality on your website. You may want to have that "personal touch," especially if you expect your customers to be interested in you as an individual, but you can achieve this while still remaining professional. Don't try to sneak political commentary, bad jokes, or unnecessary personal information onto your site. You may think it will make you look unique, but it will actually just make you look crazy.

Your customers will visit your website because they're interested in your company. Don't reward them by presenting a site that's hard to use, hard to read, or just plain repellant.
About the Author
Bob Regnerus, "The Leads King", is an expert at generating online traffic and converting web visitors into prospects and clients. To learn more about how your website and blog can be successful, effective tools for your business, please visit www.TheLeadsKing.com or contact Bob at 1-877-349-2615.
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