Web Development: 10 Costly Assumptions
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Because we work with blogs all day long, sometimes even building them from the ground floor up, we tend to overestimate our visitors. We’re so comfortable with reading blogs we just assume everyone else is, too.
We assume everyone knows the new content is at the top of the page, that the categories might be on the right side or the left, and that links for the Privacy or Contact pages might be tucked into the footer.
But these are costly assumptions.
Most people have no clue how a blog works.
The average reader makes no distinction between a blog and a website. And even if you have the word “Blog” in the title, it makes no difference. He’s there for information and if he doesn’t see what he’s looking for the second he hits your page he’s going to go somewhere else to find it.
Assuming that your visitor is going to take the time to look around for links or information, or scroll down the page to find an older blog post is the biggest mistake you can make. Here are 10 costly assumptions that drive visitors away from your blog.
- If you build it they will come: Just having a blog doesn’t guarantee you’re going to have visitors. The Internet is a big place and there are millions of blogs and websites ahead of yours on the search engine indexes.
- They’ll automatically be able to tell what you’re selling: A lot of people think those banners are just pretty decorations hanging on the wall. You have to tell them to click and then tell them why.
- You’ve covered all the bases: No matter how well you plan there’s always going to be somebody who won’t understand the process. Look at your blog and pretend you’ve never seen a blog before in your life and eliminate all obstacles to buying.
- They’ll know where to click: Don’t assume that your readers are going to click on anything, including a image of the product, unless you actually tell them to click.
- They’ll understand how to get back to your homepage: Remember, most people don’t understand how a blog works, nor do they even care. If they can’t quickly and easily find what they’re looking for they’ll just leave.
- They can easily find their way back: Even if you’re lucky enough to have a 3-letter domain name, don’t assume that people will remember it. Also, don’t assume they know how to enter a URL into their address bar. Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t. Remind visitors to bookmark your site or follow your RSS feed so they can find their way back.
- They know how to buy: So you have a big “Click Here to Buy” button, and all they have to do is click and use Paypal. You’d be surprised how many people don’t have a Paypal account and have no desire to create one. Make sure you have an easy buying process in place and explain how to use it.
- They’re happy to give you their personal information: Don’t assume that people are just going to automatically hand over personal information like email addresses, phone numbers and credit cards. Make your site as secure as possible and make sure visitors can see that it’s secure.
- They’ll contact you if they have a question: Most visitors will not contact you if they have a question – they’ll just go somewhere else to find the answer. Solution? Make sure you eliminate all buying obstacles with your content.
- They’ll come back again tomorrow: Don’t assume your visitors will be back. Give them everything they’re looking for the second they hit your page and don’t let them leave without reminding them to subscribe to your blog.