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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting Traffic 106 - How To Scare Away All Your Visitors

So I'll bet you're wondering why you'd want to scare away all of your visitors, right?  Well, no, you probably aren't, and there's no good reason to want to.  You want them to come in, relax, and stay a while.  Let's have a gander at some things we shouldn't do then if we want to keep our readers.

1) Pop-ups

Pop up ads are like shoving a blood-sucking vampire into the face of someone who's just walked in your door.  Even if the pop-up is just asking visitors to subscribe, they are an irritation that will make visitors not want to come back.  Who wants to close out a popup every time they visit your blog?


2) Ad Viruses

For this one lets think back to websites like surfthechannel (if you ever went there).  Surfthechannel was a website that let you watch TV and movies for free.  The issue: they sold advertising space to people who were lacing their ads with viruses.  So every time a visitor went into the site and the advertisement loaded, a virus was downloaded to the user's computer.  Lesson for bloggers: Be careful of who your ad space goes to.  Google Adsense and Chikita are two good advertising companies you can trust, but you will need to be wary if you sell ad space to individuals.

3) Linking to Questionable Sites

This is almost the same as point number two.  Be sure that if you link to another website or article in a post that you thoroughly check the site out to make sure that a) they aren't fraudulent, b) their site doesn't have any viruses c) the ads on their site don't have any viruses.  If you send people to sites that are fraudulent or give them viruses, they're not going to come back to see where else you might send them.

4) Lack of Content

We've talked about what a lack of content can do to your site before... it can kill it, and let's face it, who wants to walk in on a murder scene?  People are visiting your site looking for good content, and probably lots of it.  If they come in and see only a few posts, they're going to hit the back button.

5) Trying to Sell Something That Looks Fraudulent

How many of you have stumbled across a site that looks crisp and clean, but the only thing on the site is an attempt to sell you somebody's secret way to make millions of dollars?  People are generally very quick to back away from anything that looks too good to be true.  Lesson:  If you're selling something legitimate, then don't oversell your product, and sell it through a legitimate selling platform like Amazon or Zazzle.

6) Websites That Aren't User-Friendly

The basic concept of web design is that your website needs to be user friendly and be easy to navigate.  People should be able to find what they need in just a few clicks.  If you frustrate your visitors by writing information they can't even navigate to, then they won't be coming back.

7) Music

Back in the early days of the internet, somebody somewhere thought it would be a cute idea to put music on their website so that people could listen to that cute little song that made you think of kittens while you browsed their page.  And then someone thought that they should put heavy metal on their goth site, and another person wanted music on their site too.  But what if your visitors don't want to hear the type of music you stuck on your site?  What if they're sitting in bed in the middle of the night next to a sleeping spouse, and your page starts blaring death metal at top volume unexpectedly?  Music on your site: don't do it!

8) Profane Content

Ok, so maybe you have a site dedicated to obscene photos or language.  If so, then ignore this point.  But if you're a regular blogger like most of us are, then keep in mind that the average user doesn't want to see obscene pictures or bad language (and neither do most advertising companies like Adsense or Chikita).  Be careful, you may not be cursing or posting bad pictures, but what about your advertisers?  This is the same as advertisers putting viruses in their ads.  You have to be wary of what ads are going on your site, or you may come in one day to see a naked pic of some guy or girl there in your sidebar or between your posts.

9) Loud Advertisements

It seems that somehow we keep coming back around to advertisements on your blog.  Some of the ads I hate the most are the ones that are a video that starts playing a few seconds after you enter a site.  This goes right with point 7.  If visitors don't want automatic music on a site, they don't want noisy ads either.

While I'm sure there are a lot more things that webmasters can do to scare away all of their visitors, these are some of the top ways to get the job done.  What do you think?  What are some things that chase you away from a website?  Let us know in a comment below, and don't forget to subscribe for more great tips on building your blog!

5 comments:

Unless it's a site like Amazon or Walmart or something where I expect to be buying things, I don't like websites that are asking me to buy things from them because they're not reputable. I mean, really, why would I trust a site that has one page and is solely focused on trying to convince me to buy their fake e-book or money making method? I think there's stupid people out there that will buy their stuff unfortunately.

#7 Haha. I'm one of those people who sit in bed while their husband is asleep at night with the computer out and the advertisement or music that starts playing unexpectedly. And the worst yet? I got caught web surfing in an econ class when I was going for my bachelors because the sound was up on the laptop and a video ad came on full blast. *Yes, I was sufficiently embarrassed and backed out of that site right away*

Thanks for the ideas.

Another issue I have seen is using dead links. If you have a link to something in your post, make sure it's updated. Use another source if necessary.
A big thing that chases me away is font size, whether teeny tiny font or obnoxiously big. If I need a magnifying glass to see it, I won't read it. If you have 4 words a line and I am constantly scrolling, no good.
The size of the blog is another thing. You can stretch the blog across the entire page, but if your 2 sidebars are too big and busy with a ton of stuff, content is hard to follow.

Great insight Tina! Usability is huge for me when reading content online as well. Thanks for commenting.

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