Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Annoying Your Website's Visitors: Not as Good an Idea as it Seems

Someone may still think that disabling the 'back' button on browsers is a great way of keeping visitors on your website. If you don't own your own business, your manager may think so, or have equally daft ideas: that you have to execute.

Which is one reason why I'm glad to be self-employed.

Trapping viewers isn't covered in either of the two posts I discussed in another blog. Annoying ads, pop-ups, not including external links, and forcing visitors to register are.

So is an issue that I need to stay aware of: "Long posts that are hard to scan." (#7 in the Killing Your Blog?... post.)

Do You Want Website Visitors to Return?

If you don't, go ahead:
  • Disable the 'back' button
  • Make visitors scroll through two or three screens of advertising clutter before finding the registration link
  • Make them register to see your content
  • Be sure that the registration takes them through at least two screens, and collects their:
    • Home phone
    • Email
    • Date of birth
    • Postal address
    • Buying preferences
Finally, avoid subheadings, bulleted lists, or anything else that will make skimming easier. Remember: it's your website, and you can do what you want!

Or, you can design a website that someone might want to come back to.

The decision is up to you.

Microreviews from Apathetic Lemming of the North: The microreviewed posts:

No comments:

("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

Small Business Watchers