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Web Site Week – Day 5

Web Site Week – Day 5

Come along with me as I finish up Web Site Week with some final thoughts!

Yes, today is the last day of Web Site Week, but don’t worry, we are going to end it with a bang! Today, we’ll be discussing some more ways you can increase your site’s overall stickiness and also how to get more hits. To review, if your Web site is sticky, it has a certain quality or content that keeps visitors coming back. So, without further ado, let’s begin the list!

Keep the Layout Consistent:

You’ve probably experienced going through a Web site that has many different layouts, wondering if this is still the same site you started out with. It can be very distracting to a visitor to see different layouts on every page. As soon as they log in, they will judge your Web site as either professional or amateur, but keeping everything uniform will help build a recognizable brand.

Keep the Pages Loading Fast:

You know the feeling. You log in to a Web site and if it takes a little longer than normal to load, you just give up. You close it out. Well, don’t you dare let that happen to your Web site! If you have any large images or videos, make them a separate page and link to them instead. This goes the same for your content. Generally, people don’t like to scroll through three straight paragraphs of text. Try to organize your text by headings and get the main points out right away.

Search Engine:

When you’re looking for something on the Internet, who do you call? Search engines! The greatest way to get more hits is to list your site with search engines. Now, you don’t have to list it with every search engine, just three or four popular ones will do. Many other search engines (including AltaVista and Ask.com) use “crawlers” to find new Web sites. Below is a chart of a few common search engines and their submission pages.

Search Engine URL
Google http://www.google.com/addurl/
Yahoo! http://search.yahoo.com/info/submit.html
Windows Live Search http://search.msn.com/docs/submit.aspx

Have an Interactive Web Site:

Users love to “play around” on Web sites. Placing polls, chat rooms or music on your site can really make a difference. Also, adding personal tools, such as horoscopes make your visitors feel special. My favorite Web site for tools such as those is called Bravenet. Check it out!

Use JavaScript and Applets to Your Advantage:

You may have heard of JavaScript, but do you know how you can use it on your site? JavaScript can add a lot of jazz, pizzazz and professionalism. For example, you can put lines of JavaScript that place the date on your Web site. Or, how about a programmed message every day of the week? JavaScript lets you do all of that and so much more! The Web site I use for this has thousands of JavaScripts for virtually anything. It’s called JavaScript Source.

Applets allow you to put some pretty cool stuff on your page as well. With them, you can put games and mini-applications right on your Web site. But remember, don’t over do it. If it considerably slows down your page, you should probably get rid of it. The best Web site for applets, in my opinion, is JavaBoutique.

Remember to Always Update Your Content:

If you have regular visitors on your site, they will end up realizing if they’re seeing the same page every time or not. If they are, I guarantee they will leave. So, try to update your page as often as you can. If you can’t do it as often as you’d like, try using auto-updating content, like an RSS feed, for example.

Spread the Word:

The last tip of the day is to spread the word! You can let your visitors do that with different JavaScript codes, like this one, for instance. They can e-mail the page to others. Also, you can use newsletters to keep in touch with your visitors.

You can also use your banners to get more hits with something called a Banner Exchange Program. Basically, what happens is you and someone else put each other’s banners on your homepages. So, hopefully, when someone sees the other person’s Web site, they will click on your link as well. There are many free programs that allow you to do this and you can find some of them here. My favorite is 123Banners though. It is simple, easy to use, very customizable and most importantly, all free!

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed Web Site Week as much as I have. I sure have enjoyed teaching you all. Now, go on and make your Web sites all they can be!

~ Neil Patel