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Why visitors don't convert into sales - part 1

Even if you have obtained high search engine rankings for your web site under your important keywords, and even if you have hundreds of visitors per day, web surfers still might not purchase something on your web site.

Why do visitors sometimes don't convert into sales? We'll give you several reasons that can prevent surfers from buying on your web site.

Reason 1: Your web pages don't load fast enough

Web surfers hate to wait for slow loading web pages. If your web pages don't load fast enough, many web surfers will go away without taking a look at them.

No matter how great your product is: if your web site is not fast enough, web surfers won't see it. Fast loading web pages are crucial if you want to sell something on the Internet.

There are several things you can do to speed up your site. Of course, you should make sure that your web host provides fast and reliable servers. In addition to hosting your web site on a fast server, you can do the following to improve the loading time of your web pages:

1. Reduce the number of graphics

A large number of graphics on your web pages can considerably slow down your page. For each graphic on your web page, the web browser has to make another connection to your server. If you cannot reduce the number of graphics on your web page, then try to combine several graphics to a single bigger one. Use the same graphics on your other web pages so that web browsers can load the graphics from the browser cache.

2. Specify the dimensions of your graphics

Always make sure to include the height and width dimensions of your graphics in your HTML code. This means that every IMG tag should have the WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes specified. If web browsers doesn't have to figure out the dimensions of your graphics, they can already display placeholders and start displaying the text of your web page before loading the graphics from the server.

3. Make the top of your page interesting

If a web page takes a long time to load, make sure that the top of the page contains something interesting because visitors will see that part first.

4. Divide your tables

Web pages that use a single large layout table take a long time to render in web browsers. Break up huge tables into several smaller ones.

5. Specify the dimensions of your tables

If you specify the WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes for your tables, then web browsers don't have to load the complete table code to calculate the dimensions of the table.

6. Double check cell widths

Take a moment to check the individual widths of each table cell. If the total is more than the specified table width, then web browsers will have problems displaying your table.

It's important to know the download times of your web pages. In general, your home page should load in 20 seconds on a dial-up connection and the top of your page should be displayed within 5-8 seconds.

Fast loading web pages are the most basic factor of a successful web site. If your web pages are displayed and rendered as quickly as possible, people will have more time to read the actual content of your web pages and eventually they'll buy something on your page.

Now that people can see your web page content, it's important to keep them on your site. Next week, we'll tell you what you can do to turn web site visitors into buyers.

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July 2004 search engine articles