|Web Design Information|
6 Website Design Disasters and How to Avoid Them?.
Let's face it; the line from A Field of Dreams isn't the whole truth. There's more to getting people to come to something than simply building it. Someone built the old run down historical mansion, but hardly anyone visits it (except maybe people you wouldn't want to run into). People want to find a place online that caters to them, specifically. They want it to be pleasant on the eyes, up-to-date, simple to understand and easy to get around in. But, this isn't an area where everyone succeeds. And sadly, some of the reasons for failure seem small, almost minute. Below are six website design disasters and simple steps that you can take to avoid them.
1. Sloppy Copy. Despite what you may have read in the latest free e-Book, you can't just place any words on a page to trick you customers to spend fistfuls of cash on your site. One of the primary reasons people are cruising the net is to find information, and not just the same information over and over and over.
Solution: Your content should be unique, interesting and error free. Anything less will leave your visitors looking for fulfillment elsewhere. There are many opportunities online to find good content and sometimes you can manage to find unique copy at low prices. Or maybe you can work out a trade deal with a freelance writer; you offer free advertising space in exchange for their articles. Try not to use free content from a mass produced website simply because there are probably a lot of other places online where you can find the exact same words. You've got to give your visitors something special, something unique that they can't find anywhere else. Otherwise they will ? find it somewhere else.
2. Not Taking Advantage of META-tags. We all know that meta-tags are important, but sometimes we fail to take full advantage of what they have to offer. As important as they are to web designers as free promotion, meta-tags are just as important to potential visitors.
You may have just the product, membership club, newsletter or information that I'm looking for. But if I can't find you, we can't ever begin a commercial (or any other kind of) exchange. Since most people come across websites using a search engine, fully optimizing your title and meta-tag keywords will ensure the beginning of a match made in heaven.
Solution: When creating your title and coming up with possible keywords; make sure that you are thinking more like a customer than a website designer. Your title is important because it is the first thing that potential visitors will see when your results show in the search engine. It should be short, compelling and descriptive.
Your description Meta-tags should reiterate what your title has said, but using a new approach and a few more words. Try to limit yourself to a description that is less than 125 characters so that the entire description can be read, instead of being interrupted mid-thought by limited space. For added benefits, try to include a question in your first line of the description, one that the viewer was probably asking themselves before initiating the search. Use this same approach when coming up with your list of keywords. When you've come up with your list, go over each one asking yourself, "Is this a keyword used by someone who is a potential customer?" If the answer is no, then don't include them, you'll be wasting your time.
3. Outdate Information, Broken Links, and "Under Construction". There is nothing more frustrating than sifting through out-dated websites when you're in search of current information. Or clicking on a link that you hope leads to the answer to your question, only to discover that "This Page Cannot Be Displayed" or that the domain name is for sale.
Only slightly less annoying are messages informing you that the page is currently under construction or is "Coming Soon". If it's not here yet, don't waste your visitor's time leading them down dead ends.
Solution: Schedule at least a day a month scouring your website for outdated information and broken links. You can also include a link on your website that allows visitors to report broken links or outdated information. As far as "Under Construction" messages, instead announce to your visitors any upcoming changes or additions to your website. They'll be glad to know it without getting their hopes up, clicking a link to much sought after information, and being told it isn't available yet.
4. Hard to Find Contact Information. It's hard to understand why any website would fail to make it easy for visitors to get in touch with the people who run it. Offering this simple bit of information will: a. Encourage people to ask for permission before using your content &/or graphics on their own sites. b. Make it easier for people to contact you for promotional reasons. For example, someone may desire to interview you, initiate a contract or simply make an important business contact that you may need in the future. c. Provide people with ways to reach you and your company while they are offline. You can provide them with ways to reach you by telephone, snail mail or possibly even to stop and tour your facilities.
Solution: Simply add a "Contact Us" page and link to your website. Be sure to include pertinent email addresses, phone numbers, names, mailing addresses and (if necessary) driving directions.
5. Not Changing the Color of a Visited Link. While this may not seem like such a big deal, it's one that has been bugging website traffic for many years. You can take that on the authority of Dr. Jakob Nielsen, the man who's been called the "guru of Web page usability" by the New York Times.
The purpose of changing link colors is to give your site visitors an idea of where they've already been and where they have yet to venture. This is especially important if you have a large site with new pages being added to it often.
Solution: The HTML code is simple: Inside the body tag, add the "vlink" tag and the color code or color name. The code for blue visited link text would look like this: or Replace the code or color name with the color you want. There, you're done. It's that simple.
6. Failing to Use Your Website to Emphasize Your U.S.P. Your U.S.P., or Unique Selling Point, is that one (or more than one) thing that your company does do, or doesn't do; has or doesn't have, that separates your from the competition. It's the thing that, in the long term, a person comes back for.
This is tied in closely with another Web Design no-no: not offering any information about your company's products, services, employees, etc. This is YOUR Website. Don't be afraid to toot your own horn. Because, really, who else is going to do it?
Solution: Whether it means you need to sit down and better identify your target market, or maybe try to discover new ways to market to them, try to look at your website with eyes undimmed by cancelled orders, constant interruptions, or other distractions. Take the time to look at your website as a customer would, as a tool. Ask yourself, "If I was a customer, why would I be here?" As you come across these answers, make note of them, and any others that they may suggest.
Create an about us page, offering news updates, press releases, employee of the month biographies, etc. In the long run, customers always appreciate transparency. And I'll let you into a little secret: they don't mind being led around. If fact, they rely upon.
You'll notice that I didn't mention anything about the command. Or flashing, moving, or magically glittering icon trailers. Or sites hosted on free servers. That's because most people have already beat those subjects black and blue. But, that doesn't mean that you should disregard them. They aren't Capri pants, sneaking back into style. For about the safest bet, just consider the Golden Rule; if it would give you a headache, make you shake your head in frustration, cause you to get up and walk away from the computer or any other negative reactions ? just say no! Exercise a little restraint. Better yet, if you're not a professional, consider hiring one. When it comes to customer satisfaction, an experienced web design specialist can make or break your business.
About the author:
Could your website use some fresh, custom content, but you don't have the extra money to pay for it? Well, Jennifer Gibbs (a 5 star freelance professional from South Georgia) is more than happy to provide your site with original, tailored and EXCLUSIVE content in exchange for free products, services or membership access. For more information send your request (along with your website URL) to: email@example.com.
My site is working fine. The links work. Content is added regularly. We have new features. Why does my company need a re-design?
Web Marketing: Design Mistakes That Drive Customers Away In Droves
They may look cutting edge, but if you want a web site that contributes to your bottom line here are some design ideas you will want to avoid:
Flash Doesnt Always Add Shine to Web Efforts
The trend today to overuse animation in a website's opening pages only serves to confirm that style often overshadows substance. Sometimes a "flash" in the pan ? often courtesy of Macromedia Corp.'s web animation program ? is simply a flash in the pan.
The Top 8 Website Sins Part One
They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Your website then is the window to your business. What would a passerby think of your "window"? What does your website say about you? About your business?
How Not to be Ripped Off by Your Website Designer
As web designer my self, I have had the unfortunate luck of speaking to too many of my clients who have been ripped off by a web designer somewhere along the line. Whether it be that the designer never really finished the website, took the deposit and was never heard from again, or finished the website with less than promised quality.
HTML - A Website Language Explained - For Over 35s
This is a very perfunctory look at the website code HTML, for those who never did any kind of Computer Studies at school and have never had the need or opportunity to look 'under the skirt' of your average website. There's nothing that an experienced webmaster will find here that's not very basic, but for those who have just begun to discover the 'website' and especially those venturing into... maybe starting one of their own, here's a basic understanding to pique the interest and possibly kick-start the learning process.
Testament To Testimonials
We have all seen websites showcasing their testimonials either spread strategically throughout the site or all together on their own glorious page. They're there with the intent of leading us toward that high dollar purchase or convincing us of something's legitimacy. Sometimes we read them and sometimes we won't. Sometimes we believe them and sometimes we don't. Well, are they really worth all the time and effort?
Testimonials Can Increase Your Web Traffic
We've all seen and read product testimonials. They're a very valuable tool for merchant sales and can often tip the scales in determining a customer's decision to buy. But testimonials offer another superb benefit. It's the benefit to you and your marketing strategy.
Do You Own Your Web Site Design?
Your web site has been up for a few months and you are making money hand over foot. While surfing sites one evening, you are shocked to find a competitor using your design. You find out your designer sold them the same design. They must be breaking the law, right? It all depends on whether you own the copyright to your web site design. Many site owners are shocked to find out they do not.
The Ultimate Web Site Marketing Strategies That You Should Know
Most of us know that we need to advertise our products and our services, some of us still believe we are too small to invest in a advertising campaign. Now while a full-fledged marketing effort may be too much for your operation, it is however crucial to your success that you are involved in some kind of marketing activities. While putting a few strategies into action will make a big difference to your business and will certainly help in reaching your intended audience. However, if you do not spread the word about your business, no one will know you are there.
Pop-Ups Still Work. At Least For The Time Being
Do you remember playing with the jack-in-the-box toy as a child? You knew that if you kept winding it up, eventually jack was going to burst out of the top and startle you!
How Do We Know When Its Time To Redesign Our Web Site?
A question we frequently get asked is, "how do we know when it is time to redesign our Web site?" The answer undoubtedly varies.
Effective Web Design Usability Principles
Website Design Usability Tips
Becoming A Website Designer
The ability to create simple, attractive and functional web pages is a highly marketable skill. There is a huge and growing demand for websites and web content, especially for smaller organizations who often can't afford to hire a full-service web design firm.
15 Website Elements That Attract Visitors
Here is a quick list of components that make a website attractive. They are listed in layers of attractiveness beginning with the "must" haves, to "nice to haves."
Introduction To CGI Scripts
Using CGI scripts to add automation to your web site may seem a little daunting, but once you have incorporated a few into your web site, they become easier.
Why Stock Photography is a Great Resource for Web Business
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Build It And Build It Cheap!
There are several very good reasons why you should consider building your own web site versus having someone do it for you. It's more cost efficient, you can make it much larger in content, you are more involved in how you want the pages to look, and I have actually enjoyed learning the dos and don'ts of website profiling. I have run into some definite don'ts as I thrashed my way through building the few that I have needed , but I envy the professionals that get paid to make websites. Although I'm sure that I've made mistakes on my sites, I'm pretty happy with the results so far.
Why Not To Use Web Design Templates For Your Website
In today's age of fast food and high-speed Internet, a business may be tempted to take the "more convenient" route in launching a website ? buying a template and customising it.
Three Things You Must Do When Designing and Building Your Small Business Website
If you are going to have a web presence for your small business, it only makes sense that it should actually help you get more business. In order to do so, your website design should focus on performing only one function ? and that's to convey your sales message to your site visitors in an effective and efficient manner.
|home | site map|