Perhaps this should be an article on how NOT to design a web site! I spend a lot of time on the net and view thousands of web pages, as most people do. What absolutely amazes me is the extremely poor design on some of the more serious business web sites.
Are you considering a web site for your business or organization? If you have a good web canadian hosting service that provides a built-in page creator, there’s no need to spend big bucks on developing your site — If you follow some simple rules.
First, employ the KISS principle. You remember that, right? Keep it Simple, Stupid. A good web site that will attract and keep customers or visitors coming back does NOT require flashy gimmicks, automatic audio kicking in when you open the page, etc. The more you throw onto your home page, the less likely the visitor will look at it.
This may have been the case a year or two ago when flash objects were all the rage, and now the video inclusions. But expert web masters and marketers have come to their senses and are going minimalist, reducing and distilling the pages down to what the visitor expects: fast, easy navigation to get to the product or content information. If you don’t capture the potential customer’s attention with the first few seconds, they will move on and you have not only lost a sale, but possibly a returning visitor.
Here are the basics that you should always keep in mind for your web site:
– The value of simplicity that I touched on earlier. If you are selling can openers, the visitor does not want to see flashing graphics, a bloated page with irrelevant information, and worse yet, products other than what they were searching for. A large image of the can opener, along with informative content that explains the benefits, features and why they should buy yours, will go a long way to keeping that customer focused on your primary product – can openers! If you distract them with the other stuff mentioned above, you probably will lose the sale.
Does that mean that you should not include a video? No, not if it pertains directly to the product and helps the customer visualize how good the product works. A clear, well-made video clip of your can opener effortlessly opening a can just may cinch the sale. The voice in the video should be devoid of any harsh accent that might interfere with the customer understanding what’s being said. If you have a strong Bronx, Brooklyn, or Southern accent, you may want to have a friend from the Mid-West do the voice over!
– How well organized is your site? When a visitor hits your home (or, landing) page and is looking for a specific product you sell, if they can’t easily find it within a few seconds, you’ve lost the sale. The layout and structure should be very clean and not jumbled, with a solid menu for multiple-page navigation. Also, do you have your contact information clearly shown on the front page? If not, it tends to create suspicion and you lose credibility if people think you can’t be easily contacted.
Do you have links on all the pages that allow the visitor to return to the home page? Easy enough to do, but lacking in a lot of sites. If it frustrates the customer and they get lost on your site, you know what will happen next. Exit is clicked…
– Is your color palette appropriate for your site? The colors should match your web site’s theme and be pleasing to the eye. Before publishing your site online, you should have some objective reviews by people you can trust for an honest opinion.
Speaking of color palette, one of the things that makes my head explode is the site that has a dark background with a dark-colored font, making it virtually impossible to read. If I don’t immediately leave the site, I run my cursor over the text to highlight it so I CAN read it! I don’t know what some web developers are thinking when they do this. It’s NOT cool, not hip, just plain ridiculous. Make sure you have a contrasting, easy to read font. Simple enough.
These are just the basics for a good web site. A lot more goes into the development, including the use of key words, meta-tags, etc., all involved in search engine ranking. But, that’s a more advanced topic to be covered later. Follow these simple steps and you are well on your way to having a dynamic web site that visitors will enjoy using.