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Web Site Cookbook by Doug Addison

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8.1. Turning Site Traffic into Loyal Visitors and Customers

Problem

You need to form a relationship with your audience so that your site's traffic will grow and benefit your business.

Solution

Web sites succeed when they demonstrate their trustworthiness to their visitors. The process of establishing trust begins when you first start planning a site, and continues as an integral part of the ongoing job of running the site.

A web site that visitors can trust has the following:

  • Information about the company

  • An easy way to contact the owner of the site

  • Grammatically correct, error-free text

  • A consistent design

  • A privacy policy

  • SSL encryption for transmission of confidential information

  • Fast-loading pages

  • Well-written and useful error messages

  • Fast responses to visitor messages

  • A webmaster who tests the site to stay on top of new problems

  • Frequently updated content

Discussion

The web-surfing population represents a spectrum of skepticism. Some will come to your site with preconceived notions and be wary of everything about it no matter what you do. Others will look past the inconsistencies and omissions that feed the skeptics and blithely conduct business with a site based on the recommendation of a friend or other trusted source. Your site should welcome both types of users—and everyone in between—but you'll have to work harder to satisfy the die-hard doubters.

When visiting your site, web surfers can't look you in the eye to gauge your integrity, or kick the proverbial "tires" of your products to determine ...

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