Five ways to distract your visitors

Posted by Dave CollinsWebsite Optimisation

AdWords, SEO, press releases, social networking, time-limited discounts – all have the potential to pull in large volumes of targeted traffic to your website.

Once they get there, here are five of my personal favourite ways to distract them.

1 – Interesting external links. Prominent testimonials are all fine and well, but if they’re linked and look a little too interesting (for example a testimonial from one of the weapons inspectors in Iraq) you’ll lose a fair number of visitors who will simply click themselves away.

2 – Interesting images. Personalising your website is a good idea, as people like to see pictures of people. But I have to admit to being distracted by a website with photos that changed with a mouseover. I remained on the website, but my focus went from what they’re selling to what they’re showing me.

3 – Interesting video. Video can undoubtedly be a powerful sales tool, but when you’re embedding your video from YouTube, the rest of YouTube is only a click away.

4 – Interesting comparisons. I’m a fan of the good old-fashioned feature comparison matrix where you demonstrate how your product beats your competition. But the risk is that you’re showing visitors other alternatives to your product. Some of which they might not have heard of, and some of which they might prefer.

5 – Interesting ads. Running ads on your website is risky. If you have regular traffic in the scale of CNN or the BBC, then ads are a monetising opportunity. If most of your visitors come only a few times, you run the risk of losing them to an ad. If the amount you receive per click is more than what you sell, you’re winning.

The content of your website needs to hold your visitors attention. External links, images and video are only there to reinforce.