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How to improve quality of your site to attract long term visitors

attract more visitors to site

Your website needs love- not only from your audience, but from you as well. A page with high visual appeal is more likely to stand out and be shared. What exactly makes a post stand out, though? Here in this article, I have elucidated some points which I found helpful for my site.

First impression is the last impression. 

Generally when a visitor clicks a link to your article, he or she first skims through the entire page. New visitors subconsciously scan your page to validate the its relevance to them, using several parameters, some of which are listed below.
  1. Length of the article: It depends on various factors. If your audience is looking for a descriptive article, and you have only presented a general synopsis, fare them well. This applies to articles dealing with subjective content - when you're giving information, and not opining, where the readers expect detailed answers to questions such as why and how, a good 500+ word article would help. On the other hand, if your article is opinion - based, wind it up quickly. Present your stance, along with supporting content, but don't stretch it too far. 
  2. Formatting: This is very important. I have seen plenty of posts where the text of the article is not justified, or is too small or too large for a comfortable read. Make sure your content looks good enough for you before publishing.
  3. The sides: How do your sidebars and other site navigation elements look like? Do the sidebars unevenly stretch into the center? Fix them. This pertains to the design part of your site - sensibly utilize empty space on your site.
Now that you have convinced your new readers to stay on your page, here's what you need to do to ensure they keep coming back.

FormattingAs already mentioned, keep your text justified. It helps maintain the overall symmetry of the paragraph. Fonts and their size also matter. I prefer Georgia. For font-size, do quick previews of your page with different font-sizes and select the most optimal one. 

Keep your article lucid in nature, and to the point. Try not to be monotonous. If your content is dull and boring, try to make it conversational, or pep it up with an image, like this :

comic from xkcd

spell check to improve quality of your site to attract visitors And yes, do perform spell checks and proofread your articles before you publish them. You don't want your audience correcting you in the comments. 

Talking about reader comments, reply to them regularly. It helps establish you, the author as someone who is genuinely concerned about his audience. While replying, be careful about negative comments. Having a general positive outlook on everything shows that you are open-minded and willing to hear any opposition. Your audience is less likely to react negatively to you if you come across as an amicable figure. This way you convert some highly qualified rants to seemingly less offensive counter opinions, and several post bashing to encouragement and words of advice, making the internet a wonderful place for discussions.

Ads, ads everywhere!

I had to mention this one separately. You have put in hours of effort building your website, then why mar its beauty with huge distracting commercial banners? I know you need revenues, but unless you are down to your last dollar, don't punish your site with hoards of unnecessary ads all over the place. Websites with 10-15 advertisements in a single page - on all navigation bars, on top, left, right, in between content (!) are the reason people use ad blocking extensions and software. Maybe not the only reason, but one of the major reasons. Keep your advertisements to a minimum, say 2-3, so that your content is in focus. Try to take the ads away from the center - to left or right, maybe a small one at the top or one (just one) in between somewhere. Pop-ups are a big no-no. They are annoying, and I smell adware and malicious links every time I have to close them to read the content. 

Thank you for reading this far! Did this article help you? Is there something you would like to add? I would love if you share your perspective too - just drop in the comment box below. 
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The Daily Programmer is a multi-topic blog focussing primarily on computer science and technology.
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