Is Your Website "Killing" Your
Online Business? by Michael Hopkins
The design of your website is crucial to
success of your online business.
People have gotten wise to Internet
and a poor looking website will turn many visitors
off buying. Similarly, a site that lacks focus and
tries to be too many things to too many people
will not have visitors scrambling to hand over
their credit-card details.
In short, if your website is to succeed,
it must inspire
visitor confidence, be clear about its purpose and give
off a general air of success.
Fortunately, you don't need specialist
web design to create an effective and professional
website. Just keep it SIMPLE and keep it FOCUSED
and you'll make life easier for both yourself and
Here are 27 things you can do that will
website a credibility boost:
1. Aim to capture your
visitors' interest as soon
as they arrive on your page. It's important that
you let them know IMMEDIATELY what they'll find
on your site and what they gain by being there.
Try to come up with an opening headline that will
capture the attention of those people you're trying
2. Be consistent in your
design. Each page should
have the same fonts (text style), the same navigation
links, the same general layout, the same color
3. Choose your colors
carefully. Don't put inappropriate
colors together. I read an article recently that suggests
that designers should look at the colors they're putting
together on their web page and ask themselves if they
would put wallpaper with that color scheme in their
4. Use a plain color
background (i.e. no fancy textures
or designs). Make sure your text contrasts STRONGLY
with your background color -- black text on a white
background is the best combination.
5. Optimize your pages
to download quickly. Avoid
using excessively large images (both in terms of
memory size and actual on-screen size). Images
which are too large will slow the download time of
your page, often look bad and are usually unnecessary.
6. Don't make your pages
any longer than they need
to be. Pages that scroll down forever can be tiresome
and, unless they're well written, keeping your visitor's
interest is difficult. Be sure that you NEED everything
on the page. It's worth critically examining the
contents of a page, sentence by sentence, and ask
yourself which stuff is really necessary and which
stuff can be done without.
7. Don't be afraid of
empty space. Don't clutter up
your page with loads of 'stuff'. If it's not essential
leave it out. You can draw attention to the important
things by giving them space to breath rather than
making them big or loud.
8. Be sure to put a link
to your home page on every
page of your site. Links marked 'Back' are no good
to people who've arrived directly onto one of your
pages from a search engine.
9. Include your contact information (company
address, link to contact page and perhaps even
tel./fax. numbers) at the bottom of each page of your
site. This will save visitors having to search for it,
and it will reassure them that you're a real and
10. Don't put a graphic counter on your page. People
will not buy from a site that has something like
"Visitors since 1998: 00001471" in a glaring graphic
at the bottom of the page. Just don't do it. You'll
have all the statistics you need about your visitors
from your webhost (or third-party stats services
11. Don't clutter your
home page with banners, ads,
and unnecessary graphics. Less is definitely more in
website design. If you want to place ads on you site
keep it to a minimum - especially on your home page
(maximum 2 banners - preferably none). These only
take up valuable download time and distract your
visitors from your central product(s).
12. Make sure your site works well with the main
browsers and screen resolutions. Verify that you've
no broken or outdated links.
13. Check and double-check your spelling and your
grammar. Mistakes on this front will kill a sale
quicker than you can say "How do you spell disastor?".
14. Don't even consider putting
background music on
your site. Nothing sends visitors running away faster
than a woeful, repetitive midi file tinkling away in
15. Avoid overusing gadgets - again
if you don't
need it and your visitors have nothing to gain from
it, leave it out. There are very few gadgets that
impress nowadays. If you want to impress your
visitors give them clear information on clearly
laid-out pages that download quickly.
16. Your navigation bar should
contain links to the
MAINpages of your
site only. Links to additional
sub-pages can be made from those main pages.
Try to ensure that nothing on your site is farther
than three clicks away from your home page.
17. If you're using graphics for your main
links, you should consider including text links also
(at the bottom of the page, for example). This will
be appreciated by visitors who can't (or don't want
to) download graphics. Also, Search Engine Robots
can only follow text links, so if you only have graphic
links they will not be able to get to the other pages
of your site.
18. Don't put 'under construction' signs on a page.
If it's not finished don't make it accessible.
19. Keep Your Links Honest. Don't put a link that
says "Click here for a free gift" that actually sends
your visitor to another site that is offering nothing
20. Use CAPITAL LETTERS sparingly to highlight
important words. DON'T TYPE LARGE BLOCKS OF
TEXT ALL IN CAPITALS. IT MAKES YOUR TEXT HARD
TO READ AND LOOKS AWFUL. YOUR VISITORS WILL
NOT WANT TO READ IT. IF YOU WANT TO
HIGHLIGHT SOMETHING IMPORTANT, TRY USING
SPACE OR COLOR INSTEAD.
21. Don't put large blocks of text in BOLD.
should use bold text sparingly, for emphasis or
22. Avoid UNDERLINING text on your page.
People will think it's a link (that isn't working).
23. If you have links incorporated in your text,
make sure they're visible. The best way to get
your links noticed is to use the standard blue-underlined link look.
24. Avoid the use of frames (i.e. when the screen
is broken into two or more parts). These add a
whole heap of complications that you can do without.
25. Avoid using one of those 'Click here to enter'
entry pages. They're a waste of your visitor's time.
26. Get others (who have some experience with
surfing the Internet) to check out your site. Did
they find it easy to understand? Did they find it
appealing to the eye? Did they get lost or find
themselves stumbling into a dead end? Would they
feel confident buying from a site like yours?
Leave a message at webmaster forums asking fellow
website designers to give a look at your site and
27. Concentrate on keeping things as simple as
possible -- both for yourself AND for your visitors.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Hopkins is a Successful Web Marketer and Owner of BizzyDays Ebook
Publications. Visit Now to Download Original Ebooks for Free at:
This Article First Appeared in Michael's Newsletter, Ebook Times. To subscribe
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