Wednesday, 19 December 2018
 
 
A Few Mistakes To Avoid When Designing Your Web Site PDF Print E-mail
Be aware of these common pitfalls when designing your site:

• The home page does not quickly tell you what the Web site is all about. You should be able to visit the home page of any Web site and figure out what the site is about, what type of products it sells, or what it is advertising within five seconds.

• The poor use of popup windows, splashy advertising, splash pages (pages with neat animations and sound but which you have to watch for five to ten seconds before you are taken to the real Web site), and other Web design features that draw interest away from your Web site, products, and/ or services.

• Poor Web site navigation. This includes broken hyperlinks, hidden navigation, poor wording of navigational links, links that take you to pages with no links, links that take you to the same Web page, and pages with no links back to the home page (always include a link back to the home page so that regardless of where site visitors are, they can find their way back home!).

• Believing that because you have a Web site, you have a marketing campaign or overall marketing and advertising strategy. You need to understand that your Web site is not your marketing strategy. Your Web site is just a part of your overall marketing strategy, depending on your business goals; for example, if you have a successful restaurant but want to advertise and promote your business on the Web. Creating a Web site is great, but if it is not promoted and advertised, no one will ever find it. By passing out business cards with your Web site URL embossed on them, you are using a traditional marketing campaign to promote your Web site. If you offer a downloadable/ printable coupon from your Web site, you are successfully using your Web site as part of your marketing strategy to meet your goal of increased restaurant sales.

• Failure to attain Web site relevance and content updating. There is nothing more dissatisfying to a Web customer than visiting a Web site that is grossly out of date. Incorrect pricing, products no longer available, dated content, and ancient advertising all signify to the Web site visitor that your devotion to your Web site is suffering greatly. Cramming your pages with non-relevant material will detract the visitor from getting the point of your Web site (the five-second rule mentioned earlier).

• Avoid too many text effects. Forget flashing text, reversing text, gymnastics text, or other eye-popping and dizzying effects, which do nothing more than annoy your site visitor. Don't create a "loud" Web site that contain so many blinking, flashing, twirling, and spinning icons, text, or graphics that visitors are overwhelmed by the effects and under-whelmed by the site content.

• Limit the number of graphics on your Web site so that you don't overwhelm your site visitors with "graphics overload." Don't use animated GIF images on your Web site. These were cool ten years ago, but in today's professional environment, they are just another "loud," annoying distraction that site visitors don't want to see.

• Don't use Microsoft's themes (built-in design templates) when creating a Web site with Microsoft FrontPage. While FrontPage is bashed on a regular basis, we stand by the fact that it can be used to design great Web sites.

• Don't incorporate frames into Web site design. The use of frames within a Web site will drive customers away faster than anything!

• DO incorporate the proper Web site design elements to ensure that your Web site is ready to be found by search engines.

 
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10 Rules To Keep Your Website Visitors Engaged
Do you know that most visitors leave a website within 10 seconds of landing on the home page? And they may never return to the same site. To keep your website visitors stay longer, you need to engage them. Follow these 10 simple rules to build a set of core loyal visitors who will return to your site frequently.

1. If you have a brick-and-mortar business and you want an online presence, don't just hand over your printed brochure to the web developer for your site's contents.

2. Get good text, picture, and video contents related to your products or services and organize them into categories for your website publication. How do you get contents? You can ask your kids to write contents for you. Today's kids are information savvy and know how to do research on right topics. They can help take pictures and videos of your products and provide narrations. If you cannot leverage your kids talents and you don't have time to develop contents, buy them from online sources, like distributors of private level rights to articles and stock photographs. You need a small content set to launch your web site.

3. Ask your developer for some sample websites he has developed in the past and review them. If you find clutter, music, unprofessional graphics, etc. in those sites, run away from the developer. Tell your web developer to use basic search engine optimization techniques for your web site. Use a developer who uses content management systems (CMS) to develop websites. You or your kids and spouse will be able to maintain and add contents regularly to an CMS without much efforts.

4. You must have an About US page in your website that explains the expertise of your company and your unique selling proposition. Also, you should provide a phone number and an e-mail address for contact.

5. Publish a weekly tips section in your website. If you are in a business for a long time, you have a wealth of knowledge about your business, market, and technologies involved in your business. Make it a habit of jotting down one tip every day. You will have plenty of tips for your weekly publication.

6. Don't use guest books, testimonials etc. These are so Web 1.0 concepts. Use a forum. Let your customers interact among themselves. Develop a value network. You get into the insights of your customers' minds by reading their posts and your visitors know your products and services by talking to each other. As a result, you will be able to provide improved products and services and ask for a premium price.

7. Promptly answer all your visitor's e-mail. This is one thing you should never delay. Use your visitors comments, e-mail, and other form of communications to generate ideas for new articles and tips.

8. Tell your web developer to include an RSS feed on your site and publish a filtered news related to the market you serve and emerging technologies in that market. Don't use a weather report. Nobody comes to your site to check the weather.

9. Publish a frequently asked questions related to your products and services. It helps save your visitors' time and efforts when they are looking for information on a particular topic related to your website.

10. Did you know that the average person must be exposed to an offer around seven times before they will make a purchase? Make your website an advertising platform for your most popular items. Advertise them through out your site but don't use any 'in-your face advertising' techniques. You can use side bars for this type of advertising with interesting anecdotes, pictures, etc. Be creative and use your imagination.

Your website is your publishing medium. It is not your online catalog. You want repeat visitors who spend their time at your site for valuable information. The possibility of visitors turning into a paying customers improves when they stick around your site longer.