Controlling Visitor Navigation on Websites

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What is themost important thing on a web page? The content, right...
after all what other way is there to pull people into a webpage and influence their decisions? That was my idea; before I was enlightened.
I soon found out that the most important thing on a web page is your visitor (no pun intended).
After all everything on your website is there for your visitor.
What sort of person is going to use it? What are they looking for...
see where this is going? Therefore your site design, your content, website navigation; all have to take a back seat; they are all secondary to your visitor.
Before we can control a visitor we first need to find out who that person is...
it just makes sense, it is Easier to predict what your visitor will do when you know their habits, do your homework and spend some time here; everything else will depend on it.
When you know who your website is for you can put all the pieces in their rightful place.
Now that we've established that your visitor is most important, let's look at the first thing that they see.
The words - - the first thing a website visitor sees Your content is by far the best way to get your visitors' attention; influence their choice, and direct their navigation throughout your site.
But content isn't the only way; there are other factors that will affect your visitors' behavior.
Your website should be thought of as a package, and no one part is able to survive without the other.
All the parts off your website support each other, and it follows that if one of the parts isn't working properly it will affect the performance of your website as a whole.
Getting any one of the factors of your website wrong could mean the difference between keeping a visitor or losing your visitors altogether.
Let's use an example; a newspaper editor may view your work as grammatically in-correct but your ideal visitor may see it as witty, funny or even trendy...
Taking in consideration that your content wasn't directed toward the newspaper editor; it really doesn't matter what the editor thinks as long as your audience loves and understand your message.
My point: your website visitor sets the stage for all the layout and design that will follow.
Your visitor will even determine the sort of words you use; even down to your images and your choice of colors.
A sitestheme will influence its choice of colors.
Do you have a website that has an upbeat tone; then you might want to re-think choosing soft neutral colors and go for colors that are energetic and complement the mood of your website.
Choosing the right colors will mean the difference between keeping your visitor or losing them because your colors are boring or hard on the eyes.
The 5 second test - - (first impressions are everything) Can a visitor tell what the website is about in the first 5 seconds...
? "Look-and-feel.
" Does your website feel inviting; does it answer the questions a visitor asks after they land on a webpage - - "what is this about - - does it have what I need?" How far do our visitors have to go to find what your website is about? Your visitors are in a hurry so you need to have your best information upfront; this will tell your visitors right away if your website has what they are looking for or not.
Worst case you have what they want and they can't find it.
So don't hold back.
OK you have my attention...
what's next?
More information.
How easy is it for your visitors to get more information are your links supporting your content and do they stand out; or are they lost on the page? Your content should flow naturally to your links and the idea behind all the links on your webpage should be to answer the question of what's next...
"Need more information - - click here.
" Your links won't work if they are lost within your content, they have to stand out without being too obtrusive.
A call to action is just that; a call - - to - - action, which doesn't work if no one hears it so make all your call to actions and your links stand out.
Understanding visitor behavior online Is the key to placing your links and your call to actions where they will get the most attention.
Controlling visitor navigation on your website is all about directing your visitors to the next step.
If you understand your visitor's behavior all you have to do is to anticipate their needs and provide for your visitor needs.
The trick is not to create desire but to anticipate desire: help your website visitors' find their way around your website using your content and your links.
Source...
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