10 Design Tips for Your Web Site
There's nothing like a cluttered, clunky Web site to drive away prospective customers. How can you make your site an enticing place? Here are my tips for improving 10 key aspects of your Web site.
1. Navigation - Put some real thought into site layout, so customers can navigate it easily. Make sure all important sections are prominently listed. Link as many pages as you can into the main navigation bar, instead of having subpages from pages.
2. Branding - Incorporate memorable elements of your brand into your Web site, such as your logo and company color scheme. Make your logo prominent on your home page and put it on all subsequent pages to promote your brand.
3. Home page - Visitors should be able to tell immediately what your site is about. Any call to action such as
"Buy Now" should be visually prominent on the page.
4. Content - If your primary business is offline, just present enough clear, concise information to get customers to call or email. If you sell your products or services online, provide complete information to give customers the confidence to click and buy. Don't put too much content on any one page, as Internet readers don't like to scroll down.
5. Refresh content - Changing content draws customers back. One easy way to renew your content without a lot of code changes is by starting a blog.
6. Think SEO - Always bear search engine optimization (SEO) in mind as you design. Photos and splashy graphics may look nice, but likely won't be read by search engines. One fix: have a text link that says
"View portfolio" instead of a graphical button. The text will be more easily read by search engines.
7. Colors - Use complementary colors that make your text easily readable. Clashing colors such as red text on a blue background make text too hard to read and turn off visitors.
8. Be accessible - Make sure your contact information or a prominent link to it is at the top or bottom of every page of your site.
9. Sound good - Music that starts playing automatically when your site loads is an automatic turnoff for many visitors. If you have sound, make sure it's pleasant and easily disabled.
10. External links - Links that take visitors away from your site should always load in a new window. Make sure your site stays in front of the customer, even as you provide them with additional resources.