1. Technology

Tips to Drive Away Your Readers

10 Tips to Turn Readers into Browsers - of OTHER Sites


Here are ten sure-fire methods to make sure that your readers leave your site and never come back. Follow these tips to create a site that people will never want to visit. Alternatively, learn what not to do, so that you can create a Web site that people love and stick with for a long time.

Use impossible navigation on your site

Image courtesy rrss from StockXchng #628013.
If your readers have to be you to understand how to get around your site, chances are they won't. Navigation is one of the most crucial parts of your site, and if you're not constantly re-visiting it to make it better and more intuitive for your readers, then you are losing them to some other site that is easier to find things in.

Put up more ads than content

Image courtesy asabird from StockXchng #291626.
While you might feel that the ads serve a purpose, if there are more ads than actual content, your readers will notice and not stick around. And what good are ads if no one is there to read them?

Do not maintain your site

dog in the trash
Image courtesy elingil from StockXchng #772355.
A site with outdated information or errors seems like a site that no one cares about. So why should your readers? Even if you can't update your site with new information daily, you should strive to update it weekly or perhaps rotate what is displayed daily, without adding new content.

Require too much information

IRS form
Photodisc / Getty Images
In a previous article I talked about some common tactics that some developers are using to get information about their readers. Requiring that information in order to gain access to the site doesn't convince people to give it to you, instead, they leave and don't return.

Be too cutting edge

scissors cutting up love
Image courtesy nubuck from StockXchng #795735.
While it is fun to put up the most innovative and new technologies on a Web page these can often cause problems for the readers. Pages that crash browsers or are simply too intensive for the customers' systems do not encourage repeat visits.

Crash your customers' browsers

car crash
Image courtesy wax115 from StockXchng #570770.
Nothing makes a customer want to avoid your site like a spectacular crash. This is often caused by poorly written JavaScript or Java.

Use sound on a business site

Image courtesy riesp from StockXchng #796235.
If you are trying to attract business people to your site, then sound is a bad idea. Many people browse the Web from their offices, and sudden music (especially the tinny, mechanical wav files on most Web sites) quickly reveal that they are not necessarily working.

Put up too many images

Images slow down your page loading, and lots of images mean that your page can load in minutes instead of seconds. This gives your readers plenty of time to head to Google and find a faster site.

Embed too many tables

Image courtesy gmarcelo from StockXchng #685909.
The more tables you nest, the slower your page will load. Modern browsers will now display the site as best they can before all the tables load, but the layout you've spent hours developing will take minutes to completely render. And that's time your readers will spend elsewhere.

Pay no attention to your readers

a child ignoring sounds
Photodisc / Getty Images
If your readers contact you or indicate through stats that they are interested in a specific topic, you should avoid that topic completely. This will insure that your readers will not find what they want and so won't come back.

Do You have Other Tips?

Let everyone know your sure-fire techniques for driving customers away. While these are my 10 favorites, there are sure to be other ways to annoy your readers. Post your suggestions to the forum.
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