04 April

11 ways to drive traffic away from your website

Let's take a look at some of the reasons why your website visitors may be leaving your website before they've had a chance to hear what you have to say; or to put it another way, if you want to drive traffíc AWAY faster than you attract it, here are some of the things you should do.

1. Give Web-visitors Too Many Options and Choices
Social scientist and Swarthmore College professor, Barry Schwartz, has coined the phrase, "the paradox of choice." His studies have concluded the more choice you give people, the less likely they are to make a decision. Some choice is good, but too much choice creates confusion: it's a case of diminishing marginal utility.

A well designed website explains, directs, guides, and focuses visitor attention on the things that are of real benefit to your visitors and to your company.

Every business provides a variety of products, services, and information to their customers, but these things are not all of equal importance. Your website is a place to focus attention on your core marketing message, not a place to provide a shopping líst of everything you are able to do and every product or service you may be able to offer.

2. Give Web Visitors Too Much Information To Process
Architect, author, and information designer, Richard Saul Wurman, in his book, 'Information Anxiety' talks about, "the ever-widening gap between what we understand and what we think we should understand."

Good website design is about more than technology and aesthetics; it's about deciding what information needs to be presented and what information needs to be left out. If you are truly an expert in your field, you should know what information is important to your customers in order for them to make a decision. Too much information is like too much choice, it confuses rather than clarifies. Focus on delivering meaningful content or risk having your visitors hit the exit button.

3. Give Web Visitors Too Much Non-relevant Content
The only thing worse than overloading your website with more information than visitors can absorb is confusing them with useless and non-relevant content.

Non-relevant content is content that doesn't advance your major purpose: to deliver your marketing message in an informative, engaging, entertaining, and memorable manner. If it isn't relevant, dump it.

4. Give Web Visitors Too Many Irritating Distractions
Websites should be designed to direct visitors to the information they want and that information should be the content you want to deliver.

You cannot sell someone a product or service they do not want. A real prospect is one that needs the same information you want to provide; the art of sales is directing potential clients to relevant information, and presenting it in a way that visitors see your product or service as fulfilling their needs.

On the surface, third-party advertisements and banners may seem like a good way to make some extra cash from your traffic, but these ads become so distracting, visitors either get fed-up or click on one of the links that takes them away from your site. Whatever few bucks you earn from these ads, you are loosing by chasing real customers away; this of course assumes you are a real business with something legitimate to sell and not a website that's an excuse to deliver advertisements.

Other nonsense like favorite links and silly fluff-content merely distracts visitors from investigating your site to find what they are looking for.

5. Give Web Visitors Too Many Red Flags

Website visitors are constantly looking for red flags that tell them that the site they are visiting should be skipped as soon as possible.

If you want to make sure visitors won't deal with you make sure you don't provide any contact information: no contact names, no telephone numbers, and no mailing address is a sure sign that you won't look after any problems that arise from a website transaction.

Your website must be designed to build trust and foster a relationship, not scare people away.

6. Give Web Visitors Too Many Decisions To Make
How many decisions do you demand from your visitors in order for them to do business with you?

Take for example the seemingly simple task of purchasing a new television. Do you purchase the inexpensive but old tube technology, the newer Plasma technology, or the LCD technology? How about all the various features to choose from like picture-in-picture, commercial skip-timers, and on and on? All you really want to do is relax with your spouse and enjoy a good movie - is that on a VSH, DVD, Blu-ray, or HD-DVD?

7. Give Web Visitors Too Many Stumbling Blocks
Do you make people go through the order processing system before they can find out how much something costs, or do you demand potential customers read a ridiculous amount of small print legalese that only a lawyer could understand?

If you want to drive traffic away from your site make sure you build in as many stumbling blocks as possible.

8. Give Web Visitors Too Many Forms To Fill-in
Do you attract your visitors with special offers or free white papers and then demand that they fill-out complex forms, surveys, and questionnaires before you give them access to what they came for? If you do, you are probably losing a lot of people you attracted, and you are guaranteeing that your next email promotion will end up in the trash.

9. Give Web Visitors Incomprehensible Page Layouts
Good design, proper page layout, consistent navigation, and well organized information architecture that promotes serendipity, helps visitors find what they're looking for and provides a pleasant, efficient and rewarding experience for the website visitor.

Website designs that rely on technology, databases, and search engine optimization rather than focused content, coherent organization, articulate presentation, and a memorable, rewarding experience are designs designed to chase traffic away.

10. Give Web Visitors Too Many Confusing Instructions
One of the most frustrating experiences website visitors encounter is confusing instructions and incoherent explanations of how your product or service works or how to order what you are selling.

11. Give Web Visitors Too Many Reason To Click-out
If you really are determined to fail, make sure you provide website visitors with as many reasons as possible to leave your site: irrelevant links to your favorite sites, links to your suppliers because you're too cheap to put their information on your own site, or any combination of the reasons mentioned above, all contribute to driving traffic away from your site.


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