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Retention is Priceless!
By Damian Bazadona   Printer Friendly Version

One web site: $10,000
A banner advertising campaign on Yahoo: $5,000
A 1-year web hosting package: $1,200
The ability to retain your web site visitors: Priceless

As the number of web pages on the Internet approaches 1 billion, the importance of creating a "satisfying user experience" for web users is crucial to the success of any web site. Industry research continues to show that retaining web site visitors may be the primary challenge in succeeding on the Internet. A new study reported by Engage Technologies stated that 4 out of 5 visitors to the average web site never return.

As partner in Silicon Alley based Cyber-NY, we have put the user's experience as a top priority for all of our clients. There are a variety of ways to bring visitors to a web site. Those who retain that traffic will prove successful in the on-line arena. Retention plays a key role on the Internet as it enables one-to-one relationships, repeat purchases or visits, and a channel for feedback on your business practices. Acquisition without retention spells long-term disaster.

One way to help retain web site visitors on your web site is to create a satisfying user experience. Here are some pointers that will help:

Focus on Content and Navigation
Sounds like a no-brainer? Well, too many companies have put more emphasis on marketing their site than worrying about how and what their web site communicates. Whether it is out-dated content or poor navigation and layout, too many web sites are failing to meet the demands of their site visitors. If your site doesn't give the user what they want or allow them the ability to locate what they are looking for in a timely fashion, there are thousands of other web sites that probably do.

In short: Keep your content relevant, up-to-date, and simple to navigate.

Utilize Compression Techniques
Most of my web surfing, at least for personal use, comes in the comfort of my home. With a 56K modem, that unfortunately only connects at around 28.8K, I don't have patience for web sites that take over 1 minute to download. To avoid having this problem on your web site, I would recommend one of two ideas. First, compress the graphics. People don't want to wait a day and a half for a 100k home page graphic to load. Second, avoid creating text as graphics when it could simply be created in HTML. This equates to faster download time.

In short: Compress your graphics!

Don't Be Scared Of New Technologies
Investigate new technologies and don't be scared to use them. Macromedia and other software companies continue to release cutting edge web production tools that help improve site navigation without hindering download time. Cyber-NY, for example, employs a number of value-added interactive tools utilizing Macromedia products and Java-based technologies that have worked wonders for our clients. Through the use of these tools, we are able to create content-rich interactive atmospheres that enhance the user experience. Long-term, the user experience will play a large-role in generating repeat visits.

In short: Don't be scared of new technologies!

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