Do You Know Your Visitor?

Website visitors are quite the characters! And they are varied in their purposes for being on the site in the first place.

Many are there for a particular purpose. Most are there for the content and to gain some knowledge or information.

Depending on the site, some visitors are there to look at the pretty pictures, while others are there to associate a pretty picture to some content.

If you have a site, it’s because you have a particular purpose you’re trying to achieve. Most likely it is to provide some information or some product.

Why then would you need to have pictures of yourself on your site, unless of course you are the product, but most of the time, this is not the case.

Pictures help your visitors digest some of your content but only when the picture actually relates to the content text. Otherwise the picture is just eye candy and could interfere with the visitors achieving their purpose.

So what is the purpose of your site? What is the purpose of the pictures you’re selecting for the pages and content? Do the two purposes align with your visitor’s purpose for being there?

I contend that in the age of instant gratification, a site needs to align with the visitor’s purpose most. This should be the highest priority goal in the development and layout of the site. With that in mind, many site designs with beautiful headers at the top or with beautiful background images are pretty useless because the visitor must scroll just to get to the content. Or in the case of the background, the visitor must strain to get their focus on the content instead of the pretty picture.

I really get a kick out of seeing these news sites and the images they use with different news stories. Many times the image has nothing to do with the story. Other times the image presents a connotation that is different from that of the story. Remember the old black and white paper newspaper that was delivered to your door? It had headlines, but seldom had pictures because they were expensive to print. I’m advocating moving in that direction again. Unless a story needs a picture to help tell the story, why provide the picture? And I contend that if the story or content needs the picture, then perhaps the story is not being told very well. And if the picture is provided to assist the content, then it should be in a relative location of that content and not scrolled off the page as in the case of a header.

But the real question is what does your viewer want? If your statistics show that your visitors are leaving your pages after only staying 3 – 5 seconds and your site is loaded with pictures, my guess is they aren’t finding the content they want immediately.

The character of your visitors can be determined in the statistics and holding a visitor on your site longer will help your site achieve its purpose.

Let me look at your statistics and analyze what can be done to keep your visitors on your site longer.