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You’ve Got The Traffic, Now What

By Kimberly Bodane

As webmasters are well aware, getting traffic is one thing; retaining that traffic can often be the tricky part. Surely we’ve all run across sites from time to time that were easy to stumble upon, but then made us scratch our head wondering how in the holy heck it got there, and what in the world did it do to deserve such choice rankings or links from other worthy sites. Unfortunately for webmasters, there isn’t any one formula for a tacky site people won’t ever want to step foot in again. There are however, several things that can be done to prevent that dreaded situation.

Boost Your Content It goes without saying that you cannot just have a website with the basic “Home”, “FAQ”, “About Us”, and “Contact” pages. Those represent grease on the wheel, so to speak. Having just those pages will make for one terribly boring site, while omitting them will make for a choppy site where people are bound to get stuck without these important navigation tools. Always include these whenever possible!

In addition though, you absolutely must, have a healthy amount of quality content. If you are selling something, this is especially important. Your visitors want to see you as an authority on your subject if they are going to buy your product or service. For example, if you are selling pet food – write some articles on pet nutrition, and heck – throw in some articles on pet care in general! Going this extra mile will not only make better use of your keywords, but also show you want to provide your valued browsers with relevant information instead of just selling to them. This also does wonders toward the end goal, which is to keep these guests interested enough to stick around and even bookmark you for later visits. Another great tool is to have something interactive for your visitors, like polls or even forums. Include them for input, and you’ll automatically make them feel as though they’re participating instead of just reading.

Use Appropriate Syntax Always, always ALWAYS keep your audience in mind, and write your content accordingly. You don’t want your articles to sound like a college thesis if you’re trying to do a gaming site any more than you want to sound like you’re goofing around in a chat room if your site is trying to sell floor laminate. Think about who will be reading the site, and match the tone so as to not alienate your readers. Nobody wants to read what may be really good content, in a format that is distracting or abnormal to them. Ask for feedback if you must, but remember who your target audience is, and be sure to write for them above all else.

Make It Nice To Navigate One of the most annoying things you can do to your visitor, is to make them have to hunt down what they’re looking for. Make your sidebar clear, concise and easy to use. If you stop and think of what kind of information you would want as a new visitor, you can usually pull this off. For example, if you’re selling a service, do not neglect to to list rates and hours of service; if it’s a product, don’t forget size specifications and shipping guidelines; if it’s a store then think about including a map and even a picture of the storefront for added recognition. Make all of these things easy to find!

In short, put yourself in the shoes of someone visiting for the first time, and be sure to include the information they will expect when deciding whether or not to pursue your products and/or services. Again, have someone unfamiliar with your business or hobby give you feedback on what you may be missing. All too often, people are so used to knowing everything about their subject, they forget others aren’t as familiar and need help. This again, can and will alienate visitors. Having an outsider’s perspective will greatly reduce the chances of omitting something obvious to you, but all too necessary for your visitors.

Add The Attraction Factor Yes, this is the frosting folks. Only very select audiences actually want just the cake, so make it palatable and nice looking. Don’t flood your navigation links with ad’s, and remember to use colors with universal appeal whenever possible. Good color and pattern schemes will give it the wow factor it needs for users to experience that moment where they realize they’ve come across a truly well made website. Pay attention to your images, spacing, font selection and link placement. As with all other steps, don’t hesitate to get feedback – from multiple people, preferably!

These are just a few tips for now, on how to retain that traffic once you do manage to get it coming in. Remember, your visitors don’t just want good looks or loads of content. And with careful, intuitive foresight, you shouldn’t ever have to sacrifice one for the other. So find the balance, and see where it leads.

Kimberly Bodane – www.helpmyhits.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kimberly_Bodane

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