I’m so pleased to hear the results of a survey which confirm web developers’ suspicions that sound on your website is bad. Here’s an article I found today on Mumbrella.
One of online users’ biggest turn-offs is when websites run ads that play sound without prior warning, says a survey published today.
According to the survey of 7,000 visitors to News Digital Media sites, 70% said ads playing sound automatically are not okay, with 59% surfing with their sound turned off to avoid it playing unexpectedly. And in another warning around attention-grabbing ads, 57% said they would like a brand less if they found its ad annoying, although most said they wouldn’t bother to tell the advertiser that.
But the Connecting Campaigns study suggests that relevance could outweigh privacy concerns when it comes to targeted advertising. A total of 45% of respondents said they would prefer to receive ads that are targeted to their interests – nearly twice the number those who did not.
The survey also said that trust in the host site is a factor in the credibility of ads, with 42% of respondents finding advertising more believable on host websites they trust.
It also suggests that video has now gone mainstream, with 92% of users saying they have watched video content on a website . However, the biggest barrier to this cited was download speed.
Ed Smith, NDN’s chief commercial officer, said: “What we saw in the Connecting Campaigns report is a strong preference from consumers to receive advertisements targeted to their interests. Trust of the host website remains crucial to a brand developing an effective and cost efficient campaign online with 42% of respondents finding advertising more credible on host websites they trust.”
“The report’s findings provide a clearer picture on user habits that need to be considered when developing a campaign, such as, actively avoiding advertisements that automatically play sound by turning their volume down and not watching videos more than five minutes in length.”
Do you know that feeling you get when a sales assistant tries too hard to sell you something that you’re just not interested in. You were perfectly content browsing the store, but they’ve come over, bugged you, and now you just want to leave?
It’s remotely similar to those Persian rug TV commercials that The Chaser are always making fun of. There’s just a sleazy, icky feeling about them.
Well… the web have an equivalent. Actually, there’s a few things that fit into the web sleaze category, and are definitely things you should avoid on your website.
Left over from the late 90’s, any text that scrolls is too hard to read. People mistakenly think the movement is going to make people want to read it, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
In case you didn’t feel like waiting… Visitors will not wait to read any text that moves.
Little images which blink, twitch, shake or jiggle are likely animated gifs. Here’s a couple of examples:
Now how can you possibly concentrate on the rest of this blog post with all those little guys captivating your attention?
I won’t start playing sound automatically when you read this, I couldn’t possibly do that to you. But some websites do… and it’s a rude shock when you’ve got a client in the room with you and something starts bleating through your speakers.
So, don’t play sound on your website. Visitors don’t like it.
Having under construction pages on a mostly finished website is a clear sign of a disorganised business owner. While it’s tempting to make an under construction page as a self reminder to later write the text for that page, it doesn’t send a positive message to your customers.
Web surfers get frustrated when they click on a menu item and visit an empty page. Some people think that an under construction page will entice users to come back later, but honestly, we’re all just too busy to remember which websites might have a page coming soon.
Remember your visitors don’t know what pages you’re planning to add, so best advice is to simply leave these pages out. Don’t have them linked from the menu, and don’t give any hint that a new page is coming.
Just launch it, then advise with a great email newsletter.
Have you got a links page on your website, or are you thinking of asking your webmaster to create you one? Don’t.
Links pages started as a logical place to store the websites you linked to in order to raise your search engine profile. I am not a fan of reciprocal linking as you might have read in previous posts, and ditching the links page is an extension of my distaste for this marketing method.
I never look at people’s links pages, and of the websites I monitor that have a links page, it is always the least popular page on a website. There are much better ways of linking to websites which your customers may be interested in.
Remember it is your customers who pay your bills. Make the website for them – not for the search engines.
A trend of the 90’s which has persisted in the dark depths of the internet are background textures. These are images which when tiled next to each other produce a (hopefully) seamless pattern. Popular backgrounds in the early days were stars, logos, sand, crinkled paper and clouds.
Background textures should be used sparingly, if at all. They should definitely not have text written over the top of them.
If a texture is part of your brand, use it on the non-text areas of your website.
I’m fairly opinionated about this, but I an explicitly against including any sound on websites. Most especially background music.
Let’s say I’m sitting in my office surfing the web looking for a nice apartment by the beach to stay at on my upcoming tropical holiday to Cairns. I’m *supposed* to be working. The pleasant sounds of birds chirping and the beach rolling in starts blaring through my speakers. BUSTED! Everyone in the office looks toward my computer to see what I’m doing… so I quickly shut down my browser window to stop the sound.
You might think this isn’t likely on your website, but check your traffic stats. Most websites get a large percentage of their traffic during office hours, likely from people who are supposed to be working.
If you must use sound on your website, don’t play it by default. Allow your customers to turn it on if they want to hear it.
This is one of my little pet peevs, a bugbear, gets my goat sort of thing. People fall in love with some fonts, and then want to use them for everything. Some fonts were just not made for web pages though.
Have you ever sent a word document to someone and then saw it on their computer and it doesn’t look quite the same? The reason is often because they don’t have the same fonts installed as you do. The same applies to web pages, if the visitor doesn’t have the font installed, they will see it differently.
For the main text of your website use Verdana, Arial or Georgia.
Back in the old days search engines were different creatures. They’ve gradually grown more intelligent, especially to people trying to trick them.
The beast of the link exchange came about because everyone wants to rank higher. The number and quality of incoming links your website has is a very important part of search engine’s ranking algorithm. So naturally millions of website owners across the world went about inflating their incoming link count by participating in link exchanges. Often you’d get an email like this in your inbox:
My name is Wild Earth Adventures, and I run the web site Wild Earth Adventures: http://www.wildearth-adventures.com/
I recently found your site http://www.cairnsconnect.com and am very interested in exchanging links. I’ve gone ahead and posted a link to your site, on this page:
As you know, reciprocal linking benefits both of us by raising our search rankings and generating more traffic to both of our sites. Please post a link to my site as follows:
Title: Wild Earth Adventures
Description: Adventure Holidays Canada, Wilderness tours and Eco tours
This email is generic, impersonal and somewhat irrelevent to my business. There is an industry theme, travel. So how could it hurt to exchange links with them?
Years ago search engines decided they’d had enough of reciprocal linking monkeys, and removed the value attached to a reciprocal link in terms of your rankings. They now reward you when someone links to your website, without you needing to link back. That’s a real endorsement.
It’s a bad idea to register your own domain names. It’s easy to forget the domains you register, because it’s another year before they come up for renewal for a .com, and 2 years for a com.au. A pivotal piece of your registration is your email address. Your domain registrar will use it exclusively for corresponding with you when it comes time to renew your domain.
This is a problem for new businesses who might not yet have a business email address, and are using firstname.lastname@example.org or some similar email address at their ISP.
It is amazingly common for domain names to expire because the owner changed their ISP, and so their email address changed too. This similarly occurs with free online email addresses like at Hotmail, or Yahoo.
By having a company manage your domain names, you can have peace of mind your registration will always be renewed on time and your website will never embarrassingly go down due to the expiration of your domain name.
If you have purchased the domain for a future project or as an investment the consequences of not collecting your renewal email can mean losing your domain forever. Most recently expired domain names are purchased by domain-squatters, so the chances of recovering it after expiry are minimal or expensive.
Check with your web host as most offer a service to manage your domains.
I am eternally frustrated with the number of ISP email addresses like email@example.com I see in advertising. In newspapers, magazines, Yellow Pages and even on business cards it seems many small businesses are unaware this is so naughty. Using an email address at your own domain is very important for these reasons.
What happens when you change of ISP?
Inevitably, you will also need to change your email address. Having your primary business email address at your ISP means if you find a great deal on internet access there is a large cost associated with changing the email address over across all sources of advertising.
Owning a domain name and operating email addresses on your domain means your email is independent of your ISP, and you’re free to move as you please.
Strengthen your brand at every opportunity. This includes your email address. By having your own email address shows you’re operating a serious business.
Which is better in your mind?
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com?