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10 Tips for Killer Website Design
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10 Tips for Killer Website Design
By Jan Peterson (c) 2005
Does website design make a difference in how long people
will visit your website or if they'll stay and shop? You bet.
You've seen the websites that scream "bad idea" and you
know those folks are losing potential customers to their
ineffective website design. Whether you are an internet
newbie or an experienced marketer, you should understand
that good website design is part of the success equation.
So here are my 10 tips on how to create killer website design
that will invite potential customers in instead of scare them
1. Easy Navigation- The Road To Success
When people come to your website they are usually searching
for something in particular. It might be recipes for a healthy
low fat diet that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare or
what is the best business to start online. Whatever they
want, you need to have the answer. So ask yourself, why do
people come to my website? When you know that then you
know you should make it easy for them to find it.
I have been on countless websites that make it difficult for me
to do business with them. And you know what my first
response is? "Next!"
I am onto the next website to see if they can answer my
question. People don't want to waste their time hunting for
things that should be easy to find.
So, if people come to your website to find widgets, have a
button easy to see and locate that says "Widgets". People
have been trained to look to the left of the website for the
2. Flashing Gizmos - The Exit Ramp To A Dead End Street
You've seen those sites where the elephants are dancing and
the poker chips are running across the screen asking you to
click on them; the only thing they have ever done for me is
give me a headache and to reach the "let me get out of here
as fast as I can" button on my computer.
If you are a running a professional site, please don't use
flashing graphics. Guaranteed you are encouraging people to
leave your site. People have come to you for information. Not
to click on an ad or have their brain scrambled.
Make your website a pleasant environment for the customer
to be in. Just like a store. Think about when you go to the
mall. You want to go in a store that is clean, well laid out, has
good customer service and the products you are looking for.
Your website should reflect this. If it is what you expect in
your shopping experience, then isn't it reasonable that your
customers are looking for this in your website.
What about music? Well, it depends. On most business sites I
would suggest not. But let's say you have a realtor by the
ocean who rents out homes for summer vacations. They have
music that sounds like the ocean is lapping at the foot of your
desk. I think music is appropriate in this venue, but I would
definitely have it "off" as people log onto your site and give
them an option to turn it on. Don't forget many people are
surfing in their office environment and don't want the boss to
find out. If your music is loud or on as people log onto your
site and can't find a quick way to turn it off, they will leave
your site faster than a cat that just saw the jaws of a
3. Color - Enhancing The Highway Scenery
Color is an individual preference, but studies show that colors
have an affect on people's emotions. Look at the top sites like
Amazon; their layout is simple and so is their color scheme.
My recommendation would be to go with the flow. If you have
a financial investment site, then conservative colors seem to
follow. If you sell beach items, then lots of fun colors apply.
If you have a bridal shower website, I would say soft pastels.
Think about your audience and you will know the color scheme.
4. Page Links - I-95 To Your Destination
This is a no brainer but make sure all of your buttons are
hyperlinked to a page and the right destination page. No one
including Google likes broken link pages. It can be tedious but
do it anyway. As you hover over the button and look down in
the left-hand part of your screen, you will see the hyperlinked
page. Just verify that yours are correct.
5. About Us - Is Your Map Reliable?
People usually want to know basic things before they do
business with you. Who are you, how do I get a hold of you,
what is your product or service guarantee, will you resell my
product, etc. You need to answer these questions to create
trust between you and your potential customer.
6. Sitemap - How Do I Find My Way Around This Big City?
Let's say you have a lot of products or pages and resources. A
sitemap helps people to find what they are looking for quickly
without have to rummage through your whole site like a lost
soul. They are not hard to create but are useful for large
sites. It also helps the search engines to know what you are
about very quickly.
7. Fast Loading Pages - All Lanes Are Go!
There is nothing worse than slow loading pages. You can
optimize your graphics for your website. People hate to wait.
You can check your page load time and page rank on
Alexa.com. Slow pages equal death to an online business.
8. Shopping Cart - Need To Buy Some Souvenirs
If you are selling items or services, you need a reliable and
well organized shopping cart. I have seen some websites that
have a zillion products listed and to email them for orders.
What a nightmare! Yes, the shopping carts will charge you a
fee, but it is worth it for them to handle the transaction.
There are many good shopping carts available and I would
research them based on your business' needs.
9. Templates or Original Design- Chevrolet or Porsche
People often think that to have a website designed is going to
cost thousands. So they opt for the templates and throw
together sites. There is nothing wrong with this approach
except I can tell the difference between what I call a
"canned" site and one that was created from scratch. While I
don't think a website that uses templates will turn off a
customer, I just think it may not be as appealing.
Have fun with your online business. You can go to any number
of photography sites and download professional photos from
cows to race cars. This will make your site look more
Again, I recommend that you shop for a good web designer. I
paid around $400 for a basic site to go up. I know others
would have charged me $1000 or more. That's why you need
to shop and see examples of their work.
10. Customer Service - The Finish Line!
Okay so how is customer service a website design? Well,
customer service should be written all over your site. From
tips, to free reports, to guarantees, to fast and reliable
shopping. People want to know you know what you are
talking about and can deliver the goods they want.
Give a little and I guarantee you'll get in back tenfold.
Jan Peterson founder of www.goldstarreview.com researches and
reviews business opportunities including internet marketing,
real estate investing, affiliate marketing, financial investing
and more. Over 400 FREE reports available.