Visual Communication — Part 1

Handy Tips for Keeping Your Visitors Longer

John CounselBy John Counsel — The Marketing Doctor

What does this section have to do with running a small or home-based business? Surely there are more than enough web design tutorial sites already?

True enough. But few, if any, deal with this particular subject. And most of what you’ll find here applies equally to your advertising and other market communications, on line and off line. So we’ve included this information because it’s a lot more than just web design hints and tips. It’s about good visual communication, regardless of the medium used. (Obviously, this doesn’t necessarily apply to non-visual media, like radio or text ads like Google Adwords.)

You’ve made your site content valuable and useful. You’ve kept your graphics small and lean. You’ve avoided all those java gizmos and animated wingdings. Your pages load fast. After all, you want people to come to your site who are hungry for what you have to offer, not because they’re bored and want to be entertained.

Yet you still find yourself a victim of “hit and run” syndrome. The average visitor stays less than five minutes.

Why do they leave so quickly?

The answer, too often, is that we make it too hard for our visitors to stay.

I’ll say that again… we make it too hard for our visitors to stay!

A successful website does three things:

1. It gets noticed.

People visit. That doesn’t just mean a high ranking on search engines. It means lots of referrals. People recommending your site to others.

2. It gets read.

People stay because they want to. You can’t force them. Sure, you might trick them into staying, for a little while at least. But you’ll never get them back again, and their friends will NEVER visit. Count on it.

3. It gets action.

People buy, write, link, or otherwise do what you want them to do.

The longer people stay, the more likely they are to take the action you desire. Here’s a simple secret that ensures your visitors will stay longer:

You have to make it safer, easier, better and
smarter
for them to stay than to leave.

One sure way to do that is to make your content easier to comprehend. Not just easier to read, but easier to actually understand the message.When a visitor finds your information easy to read and understand, you’re much more likely to get the action you want from them.

A frequent comment about our Profit Clinic website is that it’s so easy to read and understand. The average visit is currently 1.7 HOURS, (median visit is almost THREE hours) with many visits between 4 and 6 hours. Compare that with the average across the web – 4 MINUTES – and you begin to get an idea of the difference. We get lots of e-mails from people telling us that “it’s 4 am and I have to get to sleep… but I’ll be back tomorrow!”

That doesn’t happen by accident.

On the next page, I’ve outlined a few simple things we do to make it easier for our visitors to stay at our site, in addition to good content. After that, you can choose the information you want from the menu at left.
 

Next… Visual Communication Tips  

  

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