You can also get into trouble for who you link to as well—essentially guilt by association. It is highly advised that you not link to any website or group of sites that may be involved in shady or unethical search practices. Doing so could result in being black-listed by Google, ultimately ruining your SEO strategy. Avoid this situation at all costs and ensure that all external links point to trusted and reliable sources.
Having been involved in the internet industry for a large part of my working life, I have spent a lot of time researching and browsing the internet and reading websites, mainly for client design research, but also for personal use. The one thing that I find most disappointing, is the lack of thought going into website creation and it’s purpose, which in turn creates a missed opportunity for many e-businesses to become successful.
My personal perspective on e-businesses and their websites, is that if they don’t take pride in their websites and show to their customers a passion for what they do, chances are, they won’t take pride in their products, and the passion for providing good customer service will also be missing.
Your web site is often a reflection of you and your business. The appearance of your site is the most important factor in determining your potential success rate. In short, if your site doesn’t look professional or pleasing to the eyes at first glance, the majority of people will assume your products and/or services to be of similar poor standard.
At the other end of the scale, you could fall into the trap of going overboard with the design and over complicate things with incorporating high costing flashy graphics. You may end up with a great looking and highly aesthetic web site, but the danger with this is that your site may prove unreliable and at times may take too long to load. There is nothing worse for a customer than trying to visit a slow loading site, and most will close the browser window in complete frustration. As i’m sure you will be able to work out, this will ultimately cost you business.
The other major consideration (if not the most important) when designing a website is your content. Not just links, but content with passion, relativity, and understanding to the customer. When someone is searching for something in particular and they visit your web site, they’re visiting for a reason. Your site has something they want, Whether this be your product, service, and/or information. If they are unable to obtain what they’re looking for, they move on to the next site and so on. To be able to get your visitors to stay and look around your website, you must give them a reason to. Providing them with quality content will achieve this goal.
If a person searched or browsed and found themselves on that page of your website what are the chances they would be a potential customer?
There have been countless other lists and articles on the subject of website design mistakes, but I have compiled my own list, from a designer’s perspective, of some pitfalls to look out for when considering either designing a website or purchasing a template. Remember that the simple, clear, informative and well-designed sites are the most successful. If you are a current e-business and your sales aren’t what you had hoped, consider the above and take some time and honestly assess your site.
Spending money on improving your website is a much better investment than throwing money away on trying to advertise and market a site that just isn’t good enough to sell your product or services.
If you are looking for a template or a custom designed website, be aware of the above and be prepared to ask your chosen designer or template provider questions to ensure that your hard earned money doesn’t go to waste on an inferior design, which contains any of the above. Asking questions won’t cost you a penny, and in doing so could actually save you a lot of money over the long term. Getting your website right first time is vital in terms of saving money and time. The earlier your website is up and running properly, the quicker you will be able to reap the rewards of a successful web presence.
According to two recent surveys, conducted by Forrester Research and Gartner Group, e-commerce sites are losing $1.1 to $1.3 billion in revenue each year due to customers click-away caused by slow loading sites. If a page takes too long to load, your potential customer will not wait. Ultimately costing you business.
Make sure you include proper meta tags and semantic markup in the HTML of each page of your web site. Meta tags are HTML code that enable the search engines to determine what keywords are relevant to a specific site. About 80 percent of all web site traffic originates from the eight major search engines. It would be a good idea to make sure you’ve done your homework and fully understand how to optimize your web pages prior to designing your site. This will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. For further information on META tags read the tutorial entitled, “Building Your Site.”
Be cautious when selecting your background and text colors. Busy backgrounds make text difficult to read and draw the attention away from the text. Always be consistent with your background theme on each page of your site. Your site should be nicely organized and uniform throughout. Keep in mind, colors affect your mood and will have an affect on your visitors as well. Bright colors such as yellow and orange, cause you to become more cheerful or happy, while colors such as blue and purple have a calming effect. Dark colors such as brown and black have a depressing effect. A good rule of thumb would be to use colors based upon the type of effect you’re trying to achieve.
Your main page should clearly state your unique selling proposition. How many times have you visited a site and never figured out exactly what they were selling? If your potential customer can’t find your product or service, they definitely won’t waste a lot of time looking for it. They’ll go on to the next site and probably never return. They’re visiting your site for a specific purpose. They want something your site offers. Whether it is information, a product or service.
Design your site to be easily navigated. Place your navigation links together at the top, bottom, left or right side of the page. We usually aim for no more than handful (5 or 6) items in the primary navigation for each page, try to make site search and a sitemap easy to find.
Having worked in digital marketing optimization for nearly a decade now, I have spent a lot of time researching and browsing the internet and reading websites, mainly for client design research, but also for occasional personal use. The one thing that I find most disappointing, is the apparent lack of thought going into website creation and it’s purpose, which in turn creates a missed opportunity for many e-businesses to become successful.