Are You Making It Hard For People to Connect With You Online?

image by MWoodham – click image for more info

I’ve been a bit startled lately.

I love the Scoutie Girl community, and every week I check out a few websites of people who comment on the articles here. I like to know about folk’s projects, and a learn a bit about who is who.

But I gotta tell you, some people are making it really hard to connect with them online.

It should be easy easy easy for browsers like me to find what they’re looking for on their first visit to your site. If your visitors’ most desired info is hard to find, they will likely leave before they can give you and your product a chance. A confused visitor means you lose traffic and sales.

Use this check-list to make sure you are making things clear and easy for your visitors. I’ll walk you through what I, and I guarantee other visitors, are hoping to find.

1. Your real name
It’s essential that people be able to find your real name quickly. They don’t just want to read all about “Sweet Pea Quilts;” they want to know the name of the person whose hands are sewing the quilts. I may like a quilt, but I can trust a person. I want to know that “Susan” is the person behind “Sweet Pea Quilts.”

2. A photo of you
Now that I’ve discovered Susan, I want to see what she looks like! On a good day. In a good mood. When I can see Susan’s quilts and her picture, I can envision her as a person, not just a seller. I start to like her. And I buy from people I like.

3. An easily found link to Twitter
I’d like to keep up with what Susan’s doing, and my favorite way to do that is Twitter. It’s best to have this link near the top of the page or sidebar; some people won’t scroll through a page of widgets and badges to find this one piece of info.

4. An easily found link to Facebook
Some people prefer to stay connected with Facebook. They might even just think you and your project are cool and want to support you by giving you a “Like.” Make it easy for them to do so.

5. Clearly labeled contact info
I might want to ask Susan about a product, to guest post on my blog, or to introduce her to someone via email. If her email address is hard to find…well, you get the trend. People don’t like to hunt around for stuff. They move on.

6. A way for me to give you money
If you sell a product or offer a service on your site, make sure I know about it. Having a link in your navigation menu that says “shop,” “store,” “products,” “resources,” “services,” or “work with me” lets me know where to click so I can invest in what you’re offering.

BONUS ROUND: What about your Etsy profile?

Same same same same!

Some of the info is built into Etsy, but you still want to make sure your name is easy to find. Links to your website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook can be great as well. If people are interested enough to hop over to your blog, that’s a good thing. You aren’t likely to lose a sale because someone wants to know more about you — just make sure your blog or website has a prominent link back to your Etsy shop.

So…will you make any changes so people can connect with you more easliy? Let us know in the comments what actions you’ll take.

Gathering light,

26 thoughts on “Are You Making It Hard For People to Connect With You Online?

  1. Yes! I’m not sure if it’s accidental or most people don’t realize they’re making it hard to connect with them… but I also see it a lot and wish it was more standard to be able to get to know someone from their web site. :)

  2. When I did photography, I was always baffled by the number of photographers who didn’t make it IMMEDIATELY obvious where they were located. If your business has an in-person component, people need to know where you are!

    These are great tips – reminds me that I need to write an about page for my site!

  3. Great! Another point: If your photo, twitter button and facebook buttons are in the sidebar, they shouldn’t be hard to find… lost between thousand of other buttons!

  4. Whew! I started to sweat when I read the first couple of paragraphs, and then I finished it and was like “SCORE!”

    I’m a web-design noob, and I built my writing & editorial services site from scratch (well, from a WP.org theme) and I’m relieved to see I didn’t miss any of the checkpoints.

    Although I *do* need to get a better pic, but you know…brow wax and haircut first!

    PRIORITIES.

  5. Am compliant with four out the items you list in your post: the main problem is that I’d love to have some buttons on my blog – not to confused, but to get more traffic – but for some reason (even if I follow everyone’s instructions to the letter) Blogger just won’t play! (My daughter who has just begun blogging is having the same problem. Could it be because we’re bloggin from the UK?) Has anyone got any suggestions as to how to go about it? Blogger Help only seems to refer one to old solutions, when what I want is a solution to my own problem! Helpful comments really very welcome!

  6. Hi Isobel! I don’t know Blogger well. But I checked out your Etsy shop (Love the bunnies!) and I tried the website address you have listed–make sure there’s no “.” after blogspot.com, or people won’t be able to see your blog.

  7. Yay!

    I hopped over and changed my little welcome/about me text right under my photo. I didn’t realize I hadn’t put my name anywhere on the front page!

    I’m also going to create that facebook page now.

    One of the main things I find annoying is when sites for stores and services (those who are not just online) don’t list opening hours and telephone numbers. That’s usually why I go to websites for those kinds of stores in the first place!

  8. Great post, thank you. Especially timely for me because I only recently realised my contact form on my website wasn’t working, and I don’t have my e-mail address listed! I still don’t have my e-mail address up in case of spam – any suggestions for ways around this?

    1. Hey Hazel–I type my address out ie laura at createasfolk dot com. This makes it harder for the spambots to harvest your address. But no guarantees- I still get some spam sometimes.

  9. In my fitness business, I have found that people will not buy unless they know you, like you and trust you. There’s no better way to help develop a relationship with potential clients than letting them know you are accessible. Great post!

  10. I am redesigning my blog and sprucing up my etsy shop a bit, so this article couldn’t have come at a better time for me! I can’t wait to comb through my shop and my blog to make sure I am putting these great six points into action.

  11. Er, um… Think I may be one of the people you are referring to:) Been waiting to do sidebar intro until I got a photo I am happy with – the dreaded “good photo” dilemma!!! Am determined to just get it done. And generate a new email just for my new blog. Guess I hadn’t done it yet because I thought no-one was reading yet, but that may not be the case after all 😉

  12. Thanks for the tips. I am fairly new to the blogging world and I will whole heartedly be making changes based upon the check list you provided. I am working my way toward being able to sell my art. I am all for “getting my duckies in a row”.

  13. Great points. I have an issue with a photograph of yourself. I started getting some creepy emails after I posted a picture that just showed me in profile so I had to take it off.

    And, like Isobel, I’m also having trouble getting those twitter/facebook buttons to work on blogger.

    My other big complaint about blogger is when I try to leave comments on blogger sites these days I have to try multiple times to have it actually go through. Really annoying and sad to think that people are losing comments because of it.

  14. Website navigation is such a big pet peeve of mine. And the lack of ease to find a Twitter link on some websites is ridiculous.

    Great post! Hopefully this makes some people think twice about their website design.

    1. Actually, now that I look for it, where on earth is the Twitter link on this website? I can only see the tweet button on posts but that just links to people who have tweeted a link of that post.

  15. Thanks so much…..I think I have most covered but definitely don’t have all the links from my etsy page to my website, blog and Facebook…..can’t believe I have missed that so thanks for the reminder…xox Jo

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