7 Reasons Why I Forgot About Your Website

This post was guest blogged by Alan Johnson, who teaches you how to build a profitable website in 10 days over at The Rating Blog

There is no point to try and go easy on you so that I’ll get right to the point: I, as the visitor, could care less about how much you have worked on a certain website or what sacrifices where necessary on your part. If your website is worth it, I’ll stick around and will most definitely return, but if not, then rest assured: I will leave and never look back.

If you are one of those webmasters who seems to wonder why convincing visitors to return is such a challenge, here are the top 7 reasons why I (and probably many others) forgot about your website:

1 – A far too complicated domain name

Sorry to burst your bubble there, but I really do have a million things on my mind, and if you expect me to remember your “isntthisjustthelongesturlever.com” domain name, then you will be in for quite a disappointed.

2 – A dull template which everyone is using as well

If you are using one of those dull templates which you can find just about anywhere, then all you’re doing is providing your visitors with yet another reason to forget about your website.

3 – A bad title

If you want me to remember your website then you had better make sure that you make it clear what it is all about right form the start, and having a “this is John Doe’s blog”-type title isn’t going to get you anywhere. If your title doesn’t reflect what your website is all about then the chances of people not forgetting about it are slim to none.

4 – Absolutely horrible content

I don’t know how to break it to you but: if I come across a website with absolutely awful content, then I actually want to forget about it as fast as possible so that, obviously, I will leave and never look back.

5 – Bad navigation

Once again, if finding something on your website is next to impossible and if you don’t do your best in order to help me make the most out of my experience as a visitor, I won’t exactly be thrilled to come back, and, as such, it’s only a matter of time until I end up forgetting that your website even existed.

6 – Not enough updates

If you provide quality updates on a daily basis, I will visit on a daily basis. If you only provide updates once a week then, guess what: I’ll only have a valid reason to drop by once a week, Let’s just say that, if you post less frequently, people will visit less frequently and, as a result, they are more likely to forget about your website and drop that habit altogether.

7 – Nothing which makes you stand out

Even if your website is not what one would call horrible, I will, in most cases, still forget abut it if you don’t manage to provide something which sets you apart. “Not bad” is a term which isn’t going to get you anywhere, be sure to keep that in mind.

What about you? What makes forget that a certain website even existed?


108 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why I Forgot About Your Website”

  1. …and this is why I drink heavily before each blog post. 😯

  2. I totally agree with everything in this post.

    A decent design, a good angle and content, content, content.

    ;o)
    Stewart

    1. Same here- These are all wonderful tips! Great post!
      :mrgreen:

    2. David Chew says:

      What John say is right, a nice post will surely be a good attraction.

  3. dcr says:

    I disagree with #2. Google looks pretty boring. Heck, Yahoo! and Google both used to look pretty much the same. While it’s certainly preferable to have something different from everyone else, I’m reasonably sure I’m not going to forget about a site with good content just because they’re using a common template. I read a fair number of bloggers that blog with Blogger and other big blog sites, and all those blogs largely look alike. It’s the content that brings me back.

    So, while having a design that stands out is better, I doubt very much that someone is going to forget about your site because of a cookie-cutter theme. If people are forgetting about your website, the theme is likely the least of the reasons!

    1. Chetan says:

      Lol but we would never forget both google and yahoo right? 😉

      1. Lewis Empire says:

        Maybe Yahoo someday. The next generation might know it as MSYahoo.

    2. RacerX says:

      I agree about #2.Not that it isn’t important, but look at PerezHilton. Ugly ass blog…insane traffic. Stolen pics with d@#ks! Pulls in $3MM in advertising

  4. Robert says:

    Content and consistent posting are obviously essential. But good points about the easy-to-remember domain name and a good title. The domain name should be short and catchy, even if it’s just a made-up word. I picked “flimjo” for mine. It has two syllables, and it’s easy to remember. As for the title, that should reflect the identity and character of the blog’s content. In a few words, the title should reflect what the blog is all about. And….it should be easy to remember.

  5. derm says:

    Bad spelling and grammar are a bit offputting. Sadly, there are a few examples in the above post.

    1. Lewis Empire says:

      I think off-putting has a dash in it…

    2. TheQuickBuck says:

      It seems to me that this has become the norm for blogging. I try to read each of my posts a few times before they are published, but grammar issues *do* tend to slip through the cracks. Oddly enough, many high profile bloggers use pretty poor grammar/spelling.

  6. I disagree with #1. Who types a URI anymore? I find sites from Google searches, SU, or some link. I think the site name needs to be memorable, but I really don’t care what the URI looks like. The content and looks determine if I come back or subscribe (RSS).

    1. TheQuickBuck says:

      I think the larger issue is how easy it is for a blog to be remembered if the URL is mentioned in a conversation. For example, I recently saw a site called “HoneyIShrunkTheMortgage.Com”. While very catchy and memorable when spoken, it’s not a quick one to type.

    2. URL’s are still important.

  7. Daily Yeah says:

    Well i think a big factor plays with traffic. If you tend to get heavy traffic a lot of people will come back. But if your blog is empty like the desert then who would want to stay.

    1. How would a visitor really know if there is traffic on that site when visiting?

      1. Michael Kwan says:

        Number of comments and publicly displayed RSS subscriber counts are usually a good indication.

    2. RacerX says:

      Great point. Popularity begats popularity.

  8. Dwayne says:

    What was the name of your site? I forgot, These are some really good points here. One thing that bothers me more than anything is to go to a site and have all kinds of music start playing. Let me choose whether I want to hear it or not. In my opinion that is a tasteless way of operating a website. And a sure way to stop people from returning.

  9. Trevor says:

    Great reasons. Like dcr said, I don’t think number two is right.

    1. Mayank Rocks says:

      It is absolutely correct. Specially if you are serious with your blog. Suppose someone sees the same template in many blogs. Not attracting. Notice that every huge blog or a big site has their own designed template, something absolutely unique. Why?

  10. Syed Balkhi says:

    really can’t argue about any of the reasons above. Pretty obvious ones though.

  11. Simon Lau says:

    some good rules to stick by. But I agree with some of the other comments made regarding the layout. The layout John is using has been mimicked all over the world now but for good reason. Gives lots of space for content and space for ads to make money.

  12. Chetan says:

    Good points there Johnson. Addition and update in content is not always seen in most of the directories.

  13. JackBO says:

    Mmmm stating the obvious…

  14. Tom Beaton says:

    Decent points. Nothing groundbreaking though.

  15. Terry Tay says:

    All great tips and if I may, I’d like to add a #8.

    8. Too Much Advertising – More Ads Than Actually Content. When I go to a site that just looks like a billboard, it’s a definate turnoff. I don’t mind a few ads and I even visit the ones that interest me, but if I have to wade through tons of ads just to find the actually content, we have a problem. Keep a perfect balance.

    ~Terry

  16. “What makes forget that a certain website even existed?”

    Probably the fact that some writers consistently don’t quality check their work before they send them as guest posts.

    1. uttoransen says:

      exactly! i was trying not to say about this, but now since you have already posted, so let me say! yes the grammar is poor, i found some errors, and this is another example why people forget about some websites!

  17. Bent says:

    I disagree with your no 2 point..most of your reader just like us..need a information. Your readers not a designer..if your readers is designer off course their main reason to visit your blog because of that (your theme is unique). Back then, johnchow.com just using a dull template and everyone use it..but people keep coming..why? because of the content.
    P/s: Sorry my lousy English

    1. TheQuickBuck says:

      However, look how much John’s numbers have improved since the design change, specifically on the private advertising front. A more professional appearance has allowed to be taken more seriously, charge higher ad rates, etc.

  18. Mr. Nice Guy says:

    Great Post Alan. A lot of bloggers are committing blunder in their blogs, domain name, titles, contents, etc. This should be an eye opener for bloggers wondering their blogs have no income.

  19. chicky401 says:

    I agree with these points but I definitely have to agree with Terry Tay. Too many ads is a turn off for me. I have seen blogs where every post is banners maybe a couple of words to go with banners. I never went back!

  20. 4ALL2ALL says:

    Useful reasons! And now, can you advise me how to improve my page? Your help was highly appreciated!
    Thanks in advance.

  21. jatt says:

    Thanks for the tips bro. I think my web blog do have all listed 7 reason why people forgot my website hehe

  22. Kevan says:

    Personally, I forgot about your website because a giant frigging dog attacked my leg just after I finished typing in your easy, memorable URL. Your beautiful, well-executed template was great, but after I fought off the dog, a very interesting movie I’ve been meaning to see since forever ago started playing on CBC, just after I read your superbly copy-edited titles, so I had to go.

    Your content was incredibly fascinating, but couldn’t compete with the fact that I had to pee like a racehorse. I was able to navigate effortlessly through your site, at which point it became clear that you update this place like it’s The New York Times, but found myself compelled to shut down the computer once I realized I was late for work, breakfast wasn’t ready yet, somebody was breaking into my car and my house was on fire. Your website stood out just fine, but unfortunately, my very busy and important life in which I do many valuable things and am regularly accosted by disastrous events kept on distracting me.

    1. Funny…Yea, sometimes I forget about a web site because I should be working on mine instead of reading yours or I should be doing some the millions of other things that are a part of life.

  23. Ecko says:

    Yes, that’s right. To be a famous blog/blogger, our blog should be easy to remember and of course attracting enough.

    1. David Chew says:

      All these tips sure is useful.:mrgreen:

    2. Mayank Rocks says:

      Absolutely agreed. However it takes time and slowly things get better with experience. Just you have to do is to concentrate on working hard. And everything will be easier.

  24. How do I rate this post???
    Not bad 😎

  25. I really like this post.. gonna bookmark this one for sure. Sounds very interesting to me.

  26. Chetan says:

    We actually can be happy with the topic atleast, if not satisfied with the grammar.
    The post was interesting, and most agree with the points 🙂
    No offence though..

  27. nice post mr. chow nice stuff instead of wondering what could be causing your site to fail just go back to the basics instead of looking for that unanswerable question that will never help.

  28. 🙄
    I’m completely agree with Stewart… Content, Content, Content !
    Serious and interesting!

  29. Kacper says:

    Good for me, that I don’t care about first point :mrgreen: My domain name (and my full name) must be horrible for non-Polish to remember. I wonder how do you pronunciate it? Hahahah…

    1. TheQuickBuck says:

      I’m not sure your domain name would be easy for *anyone*, let alone non-Polish visitors. 😉

    2. Bloggerking says:

      you are true!! I can’t even remember your domain

  30. 😯 wow you’re right Kacper… is really difficult! ahhahahaha

  31. Blaine says:

    Great post! .. quick question hopefully someone can clue me in. The ad network you are using to the right with all the 125×125 pixels is….. ? I looked at adsense and to my dismay they do not have a 125×125 image only ad size setting. If someone could clue me in I would love to incorporate those ads on my new blog. I try dropping a url but its not finished yet 😉

    Thanks

  32. Off to work on my site now, but very good tips.

  33. 1 reason Why I forgot about your post. It was completely unoriginal, boring actually.

  34. Blah! I can’t believe you forgot my website!

  35. Robert says:

    Totally agree with this post. Very cool advices ! Thanks !
    Robert.
    Online hardware news & reviews !

  36. Robert says:

    Very nice tips!! Thanks a lot !
    Robert.
    PC hardware & peripherals news & reviews !

  37. Chetan says:

    Kac = As a rhyming word of Hack
    Per is pronounced as Per..
    Is that correct? 😉 lol

    1. Kacper says:

      Kac = ‘Katz’ or similar to ‘cats’
      per = ‘per’ – correct
      But what about ‘Wrzesniewski’ ? 😈

  38. Azrael says:

    I think that I will have to buy a domain and change my name. I’m already in the process of revising my template. I will do them one at a time.

    I will do my advertising on April!

  39. Impactdns says:

    Greets, nice article but I tend to agree with some of the other posters, content and frequent updates IMHO are what attract visitors back to you web site. Good updated content equals traffic.

    SysAdmin/impactdns

  40. raymagnetic ™ says:

    What I like is when a person gives you advice about your website, then when you click on their website it doesn’t open. That’s just great to me. I wonder if it’s just my computer? I doubt it however.

  41. Alan Johnson says:

    Hi there and thank you for your comments, my blog was offline for a few hours as a result of the fact that my hosting account’s status has been switched from regular to sponsored today. I paid for 3 months in advance when I originally ordered my dedicated server, so that, even though I’ve started my partnership with LunarPages last month, the system only sees it as sponsored as of today (due to the fact that the 3 months I have initially paid for are “officially” over as of today) 🙂

    Best wishes,

    Alan Johnson

  42. We have to consider that all the simple names for domains are busy or for sale… 😈

  43. Alan Johnson says:

    While registering money dot com is out of the question, coming up with a great domain name is definitely not impossible if you add a little creativity to the equation 🙂

    Alan Johnson

  44. yf dubble says:

    Hmm I think I’m definitely guilty of the too long title… Next step, buying my own webspace with a shorter domain name. Thanks John.

  45. Ryan says:

    Good points. Depending too much on your spell checker and grammar checker without proofreading your work before hitting the submit button is another reason I will forget a website.
    For example:
    make it clear what it is all about right the start
    then you will be in for quite a disappointed.
    But then, I might being picky. 😉

  46. Wow, this article is a no-no for people using blogger templates

    1. Lewis Empire says:

      John Chow was using a standard template until he hit about $10,000 a month! I think it has more to do with providing value to your readers.

      1. TheQuickBuck says:

        True, but John was already known for another project. From scratch, without a following, setting yourself apart is extremely important.

  47. Nice article john. i added another three element on why i forgot your website on my post How to blog for money

    I learned a lot with this article.

  48. Terry Tay says:

    #1 – I don’t mind long domains, but when you get into using numbers as characters or hyphens then unless it’s bookmarked or a link somewhere I’m not remembering it.

    #2 – A dull template is ok if what you put inside of it is great. I go to Google.com and that is BORING page to look at, but once you go inside you can pretty much find anything you want 😉

    #3 – The title does grab my attention to a point.

    #4 – Content is king on the internet and should probably #1 on the list. It’s what keeps bringing me to this site.

    #5 – Bad navigation is a petpeeve of mine. I like easy navigation.

    #6 – Updates are important for some sites, not so important for others. For this site the updates are important as I’m checking it out every day for something new.

    #7 – Standing out is important to an extent and can help, but not always needed.

    ~Terry

    1. TheQuickBuck says:

      Re: #2 – Sure, a dull template is sufficient if your content rocks, but wouldn’t killer content *and* an amazing design make a website even more successful?

  49. I agree with the domain name. Sometimes one has to be creative though, because the ones they want are already purchased. For instance, we want Squish.com. Someone else owns it though.

  50. Web SEO says:

    I just hope I do not forgot about MY site. 🙄

    Frequency updates are to me the toughest part.

  51. jimsvarkey says:

    Yeah. Getting a small domain name is now next to impossible. 😥

    1. TheQuickBuck says:

      It can be, but you’d be surprised by what you can find on sites like DigitalPoint and SitePoint for <$250.

  52. I have a good domain name for the blog that I’m running now. 🙂

  53. I agree with all the things you listed. But, I’d like to add one more. Grammatical errors and misspelled words will send me hurrying to that little red X in the upper right corner. It’s unbelievable just how many “professionals” are guilty of this. Incorrect spelling and grammar make even the most knowledgeable look very unprofessional.

    1. Terry Tay says:

      Some misspell words on purpose for when people misspell in the search engines. Even though the search engines will ask if you meant the correct spelling of the word, they’ll still show results for the misspelled word.

      Speaking of misspelled words. There are sometimes good deals to be had on ebay because of people spelling words wrong in their titles.
      ~Terry

  54. Yah… these are some great ideas of what not to do on your blog. One of the best things to do is to get an outsider’s opinion about your content and navigations. You and your buddies may think it’s fine, but if it sucks to the average user, then your site will suck and people will forget!

    Thanks John!

  55. Alex says:

    :mrgreen: Good points, one caveat though. You said you “could care less” about how much I have worked on a certain website or what sacrifices where necessary on my part. That means you actually care about my website, because you could care less…thanks! You should have said, I could “not” care less. That means you don’t care.

  56. A easy to remember domain name definitely plays an important role. For example, once in a while I want to visit blogs that I like, but can’t remember their exact web adress because it’s too complicated to remember!

  57. Krsto says:

    I agree on this. For example, I would always remember John Chow, John Cow, but winningtheweb is hard to remember. If I don’t have it under suggestion in Firefox address bar I would never visit it…

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  60. natespost says:

    I liked the article, and it is definately providing inspiration for me.

  61. Saam says:

    Also, you may want to mention that people get turned off if there are a billion ads that pop up and prevent you from reading. Those adverts that flash back and forth are a turn-off as well…

  62. Dominic says:

    great job, agree very much

  63. I am working hard to try those tips on my websites… I really hope I have succeeded. Thanks for the advice

    -Scott

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