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Is There Spice in Your Websites?

By Dr. Denise Bennerson
Posted Friday, December 3, 2004

When someone visits your web site, do they think, “Wow, here’s something to look at!” Or, “Oh, here we go again, same old thing. Boring.” You need to know that a visitor extending their visit or leaving may depend on the spice in your site.

I remember when I first developed my website, several years ago. I had more animations than ornaments on a Christmas tree, lit in December, on a Christmas morning. I thought I was cooking with gas. But as the months passed, the products on my site were going nowhere. My site just looked and sounded pretty. It had music too.

To help this situation, I soon began to read various newsletters to find out how to make sales with my site. One thing I understood was that I had to get a merchant account to accept credit cards. This led me on a search for a merchant account that would fit my budget. I found one.

Then I asked some consultants on the web what was the problem? Why was I not receiving any sales? One said I had to many animations. Another stated that I needed to put as a caption “How to dress as an islander?” He tried to tie this idea into my Island theme. He gave me some other ideas for which I was thankful, since I was a newbie on the net. Then someone told me my site was too colorful. It needed to look like other sites on the Internet. The look should be similar to the bigger companies such as Amazon.com.

So, I decided after trying everything and the sales were not rolling in, to make my web site look like the other companies on the Web. I decided to do so for the new millennium – January 1, 2000. And I did, much against my better instincts. Well the results winded up being a complete failure. First, every time I checked my web site to make sure the links worked, I would feel like someone had let me down. It just was not me.

Then, came in the negative reviews from various individuals who revisited. They wanted to know where were all the moving stuff and the music. They inquired, “What happened to your site? I used to send people to your site, just to see what it looked like. I thought it was a nice site.” That bit of feedback re-assured me that I needed to go back and add some spice to my site.

I began to add the spice, keeping the format. Bit by bit I added back some of the animations. In particular, the swaying palm trees and the lizard with the bouncing head. Those two animations everyone likes. I also added the walking feet and a fish swimming. These animations are tastefully placed through out the site. In addition, I added some other interactive components. The site is constantly being updated. It changes to keep it freshly spiced for all visitors.

Now I’m not recommending that everyone should spice up their website with swaying palm trees and lizards. However, I would recommend that you add spice to your web site according to your gut feelings. Also take into consideration you and your products culture. The infusion of spice can make a big difference in someone glancing at your site and leaving, or staying around to see what other goodies or surprises you may have to lure them. Yea, mon!

About the Author
Dr. Denise Bennerson is a Writer, Business and Personal Coach, and Webmaster of Homeland Collections (http://www.homelandcollections.com). You may reprint this entire newsletter and resource box on your web site. Copyright 2000. All Rights Retained by Author. Subscribe to newsletter: (http://VIMeet.listbot.com/) Or mailto:vin@homelandcollections.com