October 4, 2010 by N@
In my last post about photography websites I wrote that I’d give you 6 easy to understand ways that you could look at adopting to get your website traffic moving again.
A few of the most important things to consider in the assessment of your site is the user experience.
1. Am I giving people a reason to visit my site?
2. Am I giving them a reason to come back?
3. Am I making it easy for them to tell others about me and my site.
Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes. You visit websites don’t you? Well think about the sites you visit often. What is it that appeals to you about those sites? Is it the content, or the ease of use or the community they attract?
Now look at your site. What appeals to you about your site, apart from the fact that your name is splashed across it.
Does it tick any of those boxes that you find so attractive in your favourite sites? I hope so.
When assessing your site you have to look past the pretty pictures and think like a visitor.
Ok here come those promised tips. No need to hold onto your seat for startling revelations, or to get out your abacus for advance calculations on predicting web traffic. Most of this information relates to common elements to think of when implementing a website but are quiet often forgotten.
- Why are they here? – Why are people visiting your site? “How the hell should I know?” you say. If you don’t have a website traffic statistics program on your site this is the first thing you should look at implementing. If you don’t know why people visit your site and what they are looking at, how are you going to improve their experience? “Ummm, I do what to what now?” Implementing a stats program sound super technical? Well its not. One of the easiest to implement is Google Analytics. All you need to do is create a Google account. You can add your website to your profile and then you Cut & Paste a section of code into the bottom of your website pages. This is probably beyond most people’s web skills but your web developer can implement this for you in under an hour. If it takes them longer you may need to look for a new developer. Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink, Know what I mean, Know what I mean.
- Make it easy to use – Find it hard to navigate around your own site? How do you think your users feel. If your familiar with your site and still find it hard to use your users are going to be completely lost. Make your site navigation obvious, having funky clever navigation is great, but if it’s impossible to find or use you are going to lose visitors.
- Give them a reason to come back – Why would anyone visit my site more than once? This is an important question to ask yourself. A great way to build your traffic is by increasing your chance of returning visitors. If someone visits you more than once they are more likely to recommend you to others.One of the easiest ways to increase the likelihood of returning visitors, is to add a blog to your website. “But I have nothing to stay!” Huh! You do so. You shoot jobs don’t you? Why not post one or two of the images from each job on the blog with a short description. No one ever said you had to write an essay. This gives you multiple benefits. The client from the job has something to share with friends, family or co-workers. Its a great showcase of your skills to general web traffic and having new information on your website all the time shows Google and other search engines that your website is active and they will push you higher up the rankings over more dormant websites.
- Sharing is easy – Have you ever visited a website and thought “Oh Jane would be interested in this, I’ll send it to her.” Adding sharing links to your site means that it is easy for people to spread the word. Most people think about sharing websites or articles but if they have to manually copy links and address’ it usually becomes to hard and they don’t bother.A really easy way to add the ability to share your website pages is by using AddThis. Addthis is another free easy to implement widget that can be placed in any part of your website. Create a free account and choose your button style. All you have to do is cut & paste a small section of code onto your page. Again its a quick job for your web developer to implement. Add this will give your users the ability to bookmark, print and share your pages on all major social networking sites.
- Network – Social networking can be a great way of driving traffic through to your site. Get on Facebook. Create a Facebook fan page for your business. Start tweeting. Facebook and Twitter can be great ways to bring in addition traffic to your site. On the flip side they can be a great way to waste huge amounts of time. God Damn you Bejewelled!!!!! But if you treat them like a marketing tool instead of endlessly catching up with friends from primary school you can tap into huge viral networks. Put follow me on Facebook and Twitter buttons on your website (that’s right make it easy for your visitors.) and then post links to the latest information or happenings related to your business.
- Offer Incentives – This relates back to giving people a reason to visit your website. Offer exclusive website discounts and promotions. If your customers know that you offer online deals and specials it will soon grow your website traffic and your sales.
Think about the ideas that have been put forward here. Make your site easy to use, encourage your users to talk about and share your site and give them a reason to keep coming back.
And remember if you don’t know what your visitors are doing when they visit you website you are working blind. Adding visitor statistics is not hard to implement or understand and it will make a big difference to understanding your audience going forward.