People surf the web for content. It’s really that simple. As a rule, they are not looking for cool graphics or strange plug-ins or anything esoteric – they just want to read, look at or buy something.
- If your site is a store, they want to purchase a product;
- if it’s a fan site for a favorite actress, then they want pictures;
- Most of the time they want to read something interesting.
One important fact to remember about the internet is how incredibly huge it really is. There are hundreds of millions of people logged on at any one time, and there are almost 100 million web sites available to them! Those numbers are staggering.
Because of this, surfers are very fickle. They know that if your site does not immediately or at least quickly give them exactly what they want, they can go somewhere else. This fact applies regardless of whether you are selling a product or displaying pictures of Heather Locklear – people visiting your site want to find something useful or pretty or they will leave immediately.
In order to keep those surfers at your site, you must work hard and you must be smart. Your pages not only have to have good content, they cannot violate some basic rules-of-thumb.
- The text must be readable
- Sound, video, java, animations and ActiveX must be well thought-out
- You must not bury your site in extraneous advertisements
- Colors must not hurt the eyes
- The pages must load reasonably quickly over a dialup connection
- Your site layout and navigation must be excellent
- Your site should be well organized
- Keep your page length’s short and sweet
- Use dynamic HTML, special cursors and other tricks wisely
- Your graphics must be well planned and useful
- Use webrings wisely and don’t use popup windows at all
Yes, I know it sounds like a lot to remember, but your job is entertain, enlighten or sell to your visitors. You have to be good and do a good job in order to do this.