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Website Fundamentals | Business Direct

Website Fundamentals


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Why Are Potential Customers Visiting Your Site?

The only web surfer that is actually visiting a site to see the latest in design trends or colour combinations are designers. Everyone else is arriving at your site looking for information.

Customers use a search engine to find specific information with regards to a product or service and if you are not describing your products in a way that they are being searched for your customers will never send you a click. For example take a look at the top websites in the United States and Canada:



Now don’t be too concerned that all of these sites are offering products and services that you do not what is important is to click on each of these links and find out what exactly they offer. You will not have to click too far down the list to see that what they all offer is information and they offer it quickly without using tacky flash animations.

Give Customers What They Need

The first thing you must think about is to ensure that each page in your website has something unique and valuable to offer. Surprisingly this aspect of web design goes overlooked even though it is absolutely the most important thing to keep in mind when you are designing your site. Remember that content is always first, then design. Users of the internet do not look for a nice website to sit at like they are visiting a coffee shop they are very actively looking for something specific and are wanting to read about it.

Stay Away From Tacky Gimiks

The number one thing that will annoy your visitors. When a potential new customer comes to your site while sitting at home with children sleeping or at work the quickest way to have them hit the back buton is to have a voice or sound clip start blaring out of their computers.

Do You Watch The Commercials?

The first question you need to ask yourself is: Why is it worth someone’s time to visit your website? What amazes me but is not really surprising is the percentage of page space that is devoted to advertising on most sites. Imagine watching TV that was almost entirely commercials with the actual show only comprising 10 minutes. Now go back to the top sites I linked to earlier and take a look at how much advertising they offer compared to the content.

Flashing text and huge animated images are the unfortunate legacy of adult sites and MySpace profiles. In contrast Facebook focused on having it’s profiles display without errors and banning animated images for the sole reason that doing this will allow your profile, or in other words your content, get to the end user as quickly and efficiently as possible. Remember the sales will flow a lot more smoothly when your customers aren’t annoyed with slow page rendering speeds as the result of code errors or flashy ad banners. Every second counts online.

Pop-ups = High Bounce Rate

I don’t need to really say this but absolutely no one likes popups. Remember there are FAR FAR FAR better ways of getting your visitors to click where it’s financially beneficial. When designing your site you have to constantly put yourself in the shoes of your customers by remembering your own experiences with sites that have pop-ups. Always remember the cursor is normally withing 6 inches from the back button and there goes your potential new customer and any income from them.

Creative Placement of Advertising

Looking again at the top sites you will notice that they use a variety of advertising techniques but most of them will employ a carefully placed text link within the content or along the side. Google is the one excpetion who more desparately uses advertising in the top 25% of it’s content area, a technique that Google penalizes other sites for doing, so you do not want to copy that technique.

Image Backgrounds

I hate to whip a dead horse but do you recall if ANY of the sites in the top sites lists that have a big image (or worse a small image that’s tiled) in the content area with the site’s text over top of it? The reason why absolutely no successful site uses an image as a background is because your visitors can’t read the what you’re trying to communicate.

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