If your website’s traffic seems to be dropping and you hear tons of complaints that your site is so unreliable, then it might indeed be the case. The last thing that you need is for your own website to drive your online visitors away for the reason that it is not reliable enough to appeal them of visiting it. Here are some nifty tips you can use to enhance the reliability of your site and increase the number of its visitors.
1. Tell them who owns and runs the site
Many online users are often weary of sites that do not have sufficient information about the people running them. This is especially the case for new websites which only a few people are already familiar with. If you want to build up your reputation early, it would be a good idea to provide as much information as you can about yourself and the site you are running. This way, users will be able to verify that your site is indeed legit. If you have an actual physical office, then it is a must that you include it. There are also certain instances you need to disclose how your site is funded, especially if you are dealing with financial transactions.
2. Have a clear mission statement
Just like any business, people will be more convinced that you are able to deliver the services you have promised if you have a strong mission statement displayed on your site’s pages. Avoid using abstract mission statements like “we are here to deliver the best services” as this doesn’t really cut it out for your audience. Instead, use concrete words that are directly related to your site, as this would convince them much better.
3. Tell them how you generate data
This is especially important for sites dealing with factual information, such as those relating to health and nutrition. If you are creating your own data, such as from a research conducted by your own site, you have to disclose the methodology you used to come up with the results. On the other hand, if you are presenting information coming from other sources, it is important that you clearly identify and acknowledge these sources. It would be a good idea to post a link back to the source for your readers’ convenience.
4. Introduce the experts who are helping you out
Having an expert backing is very effective in convincing your readers that your site is indeed reliable. However, simply saying you were assisted by experts doesn’t cut it. You have to tell your readers who these experts are. A simple profile page would often be enough. These experts would also be thankful if you can provide links to their own contacts page for readers.
5. Give your sources
Aside from providing the sources of your information, you need to also give references to other sources you have used in your web site’s contents. This is so that your readers will be able to easily access them in case they also need these sources. You can simply provide links to the sources, or in case of electronic copies of materials, such as PDF files, you can provide these as downloads for convenience.
6. Present your content in a compelling manner
All this information is pretty useless if your readers won’t get hooked into reading them. With that in mind, you need to come up with really engaging content to present your info. Instead of going all too technical, you can play around and find ways to make your content more fun. This also has the added bonus of helping your readers understand your information more.
7. Use a variety of content
While textual presentation is always good, your visitors will find it more useful if you have other forms of content available to back this up. In some cases another content format, such as a video might even prove more effective in delivering your content. You can mix and match different types of content depending on what you see fit to deliver your content. You can add images, graphs or other forms of presentations that will be helpful for your visitors to understand better. Some online users are fond of reading while others prefer watching videos instead in order to get the information that they want. Your website will likely be more reliable when you can cater to both of these types of online users.
8. Provide quality content
One of the things that annoy many online users is when they spot too many errors in your content. And this gets even worse if they spot it on a lot of your other materials. Before putting your content out, make sure that you run it through quality control. And this is not only about spelling and grammatical errors. You also need to make sure that all of your facts and other data are correct. Also check that all your links are active and correct for your visitors’ convenience.
9. Get into your audience’s shoes
People will easily shy away from your site if they don’t get the content they need or want. Know what your audience wants by placing yourself in their shoes. If you yourself already have experience looking for similar content on the internet, then you already have an idea of the stuff your audience wants. From there, you will get a good picture of what to serve your visitors.
10. Make your website user friendly
Online users can get easily annoyed if they have a hard time going around your site and looking for information. Free them from the burden of having to go through several pages by making everything accessible right from the home page. A simple search bar is more than welcomed to quickly get into specific pages. Also make your user interface easy and intuitive for visitors.
11. Get up to date
People are on the lookout for the latest information on the topic they are checking. Spend a little time in researching the newest developments in your area so that you are able to deliver them as soon as they come out. In case you already posted on the topic and new info suddenly pops up, update yours immediately to reflect this.
12. Be regular
People can quickly drop your site if they don’t see anything new for a few days. Post as frequently as you can in order to keep them interested. One new content per day is often enough to keep your site going. In case you don’t have new content that is directly related to the site’s topic, you are free to post something different as long as it is interesting to your audience and does not stray too far off-course.
13. Be secure
Getting viruses and malware into their computers after visiting your site is definitely going to piss off a lot of visitors. Do a thorough inspection of your site to make sure that no malicious software is hitching a ride in your side. Do a regular check once every week and equip your site with the latest virus and malware protection software. In case your site has financial transactions going through it (such as if you are running an online store), you definitely need to be doubly careful. Make sure that you only use a trusted and secure method to handle these financial transactions, as well as your users’ data.
14. Sign-up should be quick
If people need to sign up for your site’s services, they often want to do it quickly, especially if they are in a rush. So, you don’t want to bother them with a lengthy form to fill up. Make it just a few fields long with only the most essential information needed. Also, the email sign up page should be prominently displayed on your site for easy access. Again, assure your users that all of their personal information are safe within your site\s servers.
15. Hear out your visitors
A simple comment box is useful for hearing out your visitors’ comments, suggestions, and rants. Position it in a spot where they will be able to access it and post immediately. A comment sidebar has been often useful for this purpose. But of course, don’t just let the comment stream. Take time to read through them. You will surely find many useful comments you can take into consideration for improving your site.
16. Be there to assist
Many users will expectedly have a lot of questions when it comes using your site’s services. And they would want to get in touch with someone to help them sort it out. Make sure that all your communication channels like email, chat, and even the phone, open for any inquiries regarding your site’s services. If you have the time, it would be a good idea for you to personally respond to the inquiries. This will definitely improve your relationship with your site’s visitors, as they will be able to get in touch with the person behind the site.
Aside from doing tech support, you also need to interact with your site’s visitors in a variety of other ways. Again, the idea here is to foster a more personal relationship with your visitors, which in turn would make them feel more secure with your site. If your site has its own forum section, participate and initiate threads which will be in your visitors’ interest. You can also personally respond to the comments made by your visitors to your contents.
18. Join the social networks
Social networking sites have become very popular nowadays and you definitely would want to take advantage. Much like the above tip, your goal here is to bolster your relationship with your site’s audience. Using the social networking site, you will be able to get in touch with your audience outside your own site. This will also have help in increasing your potential audience as you will be able to reach more people who might not be familiar with your site. Connect your social network profiles to your site to your site in order to entice them to drop by.
Remember that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of competitors out there who would try to get a fair share of your audience. Be steps ahead and look for ways to improve your site. Be it a new way to deliver content or a method to speed up transactions within your site, they will all come in handy in better increasing the reliability of your site.
All of these will be useless if you are not able to properly deliver your site’s services in the first place. Make sure that your site runs smoothly before introducing it to the public. When it comes to your site’s services, make sure that these are flowing smoothly so that delivery will not be affected. In case of hitches in either the site itself or supporting services, deal with them immediately and avoid a long wait for your site’s users.
About the Author:
The guest post came from Stacy, a guest blogger and web designer. She writes for Cell Phone Spy website. She likes to cover about Android news, marketing and other technology articles.