OK, you have a fantastic idea that needs a blog or web site. You built a blog or web site, but the site just does not seem to be generating the interest you thought it should. Perhaps you forgot about the “One Click” Rule.
With the massive amount of information available on the Internet, most people using the ‘Net simply do not have the time needed to leisurely browse websites or blogs. They need to get into the blog or website, find the one item they were looking for in the least amount of time, and then go off to other pursuits.
In Internet parlance, this is the “One Click” Rule — arrive at the intended goal in one click (or as few clicks as possible).
I was recently looking for an answer to a long forgotten question. I inserted the question in my browser and watched as several responses were displayed on my monitor.
I selected the one response that appeared to be the best. When I arrived at the website, it could be only described as “absolutely awful”. My first impression was that the web master was colorblind. My second conclusion was the site was designed by five drunk monkeys hammering on typewriters.
A link to the article I was looking for was prominently displayed on the first page. After four clicks, I had still not arrived at my destination, and decided it was time to halt the search on that particular website.
I went back to my browser and selected a second link. Unfortunately, I encountered many of the same problems, although I did arrive at my destination on the third click. However, someone had determined that splitting up pages was the answer to the unasked question. Three paragraphs into the article, I was required to click on a link to read the second half of the article.
Many years ago, I was a professional website designer. Yes, this was back in the day when it was necessary to know HTML. The one overwhelming requirement as a website designer was KISS — Keep It Simple, Stupid.
I am not inferring that anyone reading THIS blog is stupid, but there are blog authors and web masters who qualify, based on the product they provide. I am aware that 2 websites in the vast expanse of the Internet does not provide a prediction of Internet quality, but there are things that can be done to prevent your blog or website browsers from exiting prematurely. (Insert your personal humor here.)
First — Provide a clear map (menu) of your blog or website. I have attempted to make the menu panel of The Book Reviewers Club as clear as possible. If a visitor wants to know about The Book Reviewers Club, they simply click on “About the Club”. That single click will take the visitor to a page that describes why the club was started, some positive aspects of the club, and how to navigate the blog.
Second — Provide quick links to get around your blog or web site. One of the features of The Book Reviewers Club blog is the book reviews. I suppose I could have all the reviews available with one click, but that would require several clicks to reach your destination. I established a menu of “Book Reviews by Author” and another of “Book Reviews by Reviewer”. If you know the author, one click will take you to that list. Or, if you have a reviewer you like, you do not need to scan a long list to find the one you are looking for.
Third — Keep the selection process simple. All of my lists are in alphabetical order. I once looked for an author on a website, and discovered the author was listed by name, but the site designer did not know much about sorting a list. The website was sorted by first name and then last name. John D. MacDonald was under “J”, and not under “M”. That is not a user-friendly approach to lists.
Fourth — Keep the blog or website visually attractive. Although this is not associated with the “One Click” Rule, having a pleasant looking blog or website to browse will allow readers to overlook some of the glaring deficiencies.
The “One Click” Rule might add some design time to the blog or website, but it will also increase the number of viewers to the blog or website. It is much easier to click once to find an answer.