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Web Site Design Basics - From A Marketers
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If you want to achieve anything
more than an online presence, you have to promote it actively and
strategically. It would be a shame to build a web site only to
mention it to existing customers "hey we have
one". In my opinion, a web site is a great marketing tool to get
On the web, it's not "Build it and they will
come." It's "Promote it and they will come, and keep
promoting it, and they will keep on coming." Once you
stop promoting your site and updating it with fresh content,
people will stop visiting.
You need to have a solid promotion plan when you start. Some
promotion strategies have to be integrated into the site from day
one. A good example is opt-in
email marketing, which is very powerful by the way. If you
don't capture visitors' email addresses, how will you do that?
Your web site should look professional. It should not
look as though you have spent 5 minutes developing it. By
looking professional, it shows you are serious about your
One of the ways to make your site look professional is
to have a nice logo.
Make sure all the links on your web pages work. There are very few things as
annoying as "Error 404 file not
found". Also make sure all the images on your site work. It gives your
visitors a poor first impression if images don't load, and
they will often leave.
Keep banner exchanges or banner ads to minimum.
Test your site with different platforms, browsers, screen
resolutions, and color settings. Most surfers are using
Windows IE with 800x600 resolution. However think for visitors
using Mac or Netscape. They may find your site odd or even not
Make sure the layout is neat and clean. Don't make it too busy.
Choose easy-to-read color scheme. Whenever you are not sure how a
professional site looks like, go to Yahoo homepage.
Click here for the top 10 mistakes
that make a site look amateur.
6) Fast Loading
The homepage of
your web site should load within 10 seconds. This is where you
have to control your graphic designers.
Today, few people will wait for one minute to view a web page.
Your competitors are just a click away providing similar products
or services. Longer downloading time means that you are losing potential customers.
can significantly increase the speed of your web site by decreasing the number
of images. If you have to use many small images on your web
that you include the "height" and "width"
attributes for the image.
"Less is more". Again, just
take a look at Yahoo when you fall in love with a big
7) Clear Message
Your web site should be direct and immediately tell
the visitors what you are offering and how they can benefit from
If the visitor cannot see what you
are offering, I promise they will not hang around to find out.
They are coming to your site to find something, if it is hidden
somewhere deep inside, visitors will not waste their time looking for it.
Have something to grab their attention and ask them to click to
find out more details.
8) Easy Navigation
Navigating your web site should be easy. Don't make your visitors hunt for navigation or wonder
where to go next. If you've done the job right, it will be right
there when they are ready for it. A simple click will lead
visitors to where you want them to go.
Keep menu links to important pages at the top, bottom, or left hand side of
every pages. Keep navigation system consistent.
Keep the number of clicks required to get from your home page to any other page on your site down to four. If it's
more than that, you may have to re-consider your web structure
or navigation system.
Consider using site search engine if you
have a fairly large web site, say more than a couple of hundred
pages. With that scale, it's rather difficult to locate specific
information without search feature.
Never make visitors get
9) Communication Channel
Always include a Contact Us page with an email address where
visitors can reach you. This is essential. If potential customers
visit your site, have questions, and canít find your contact
information, they may go on to a web site that can fulfill their
requests. Try to reply to emails within 48 hours.
It's advisable to put mailing address and telephone number as
well. Not only will it provide methods for visitors to contact
you, it will also shows you are real and builds credibility and
trust. Personally, I never buy anything from a web site with no
physical address listed.
You can also set up feedback forms to make it easier for
visitors to communicate with you.
Keep your web site consistent by using the same layout, logo,
navigation system and color scheme on every page. The last thing you want is to make the
In summary, keep your web site fast, simple and
easy to use, and I promise you will have a successful web
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Article by Zac Hewlett at
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