10 tips for better web sites
What are the secrets of the super sites? Why do some sites
suceed while the majority of others fail? More and more Internet business
owners are asking themselves these questions. The answers are frequently
more obvious than you may think. Below are 10 tips for better, more successful
1. Build It For Speed
It's a fact of modern life - people are in a hurry. Nowhere is that more
true than on the Internet. It seems that no matter how much the technology
improves, nothing is ever fast enough. In fact, several studies indicate
that the fast technology advances, the faster people expect things to
So what does this mean for your website design? It means that you have
between 10 and 30 seconds to capture your potential customer's attention.
If they can not at least begin to read about your product in that much
time, they will be headed e
lsewhere. To minimize your load time, keep graphics small. Compress them
animation) sparingly and only if it is important to your presentation.
2. Target Your Market
Know who your market is and make certain that your site caters to their
needs. It is critical that your site reflect the values of your potential
customers. Is your market mostly business professionals? If so, the site
must be clean and professional. Is your product aimed mostly a teenagers
and young adults? Then your site could be more informal and relaxed. The
key here is to know your market and build the site to their preferences.
3. Focus The Site
Make certain your web site is focused on the goal, selling your product
or service. A site offering many unrelated products is not necessarily
unfocused, but this is often the case. If your business does offer many
products, dedicate a unique page for each instead of trying to sell them
all from one page. Upselling or cross selling is vital but don't dedicate
so much to it that the customer feels caught in a bait and switch. Make
mention of other products but do so subtly.
4. Credibility Is Crucial
The most professionally designed site won't sell if your customers don't
believe in you. The impersonal nature of the Internet breeds a certain
level of mistrust. For your web site to be successful you must overcome
A clear privacy statement is one way to build your credibility. Every
commercial web site should have a privacy statement posted on line. Provide
a prominent link to your privacy statement from every page on the site
as well as from any location that you are asking your visitors for personal
information. Provide legitimate contact information on line. Your contact
information should include an email address, mailing address, phone number
and a fax number, if applicable. If you are unwilling to provide this
information to your customers, how can they trust (or buy from) you?
5. Offer A Guarantee
Offer an ironclad, no exceptions money back guarantee. This item is really
a credibility issue but it is important enough to warrant its own mention.
What better way to establish your customer's trust than to eliminate any
risk for them? If the customer sees that your are willing to assume all
of the risk, they will immediately be more inclined to trust you.
6. Make Payment Easy
Offer a variety of payment methods for your customer. If you don't currently
take credit cards, start immediately. You can either set up a merchant
account or use one of the many credit card clearing houses. Take checks
on line. Provide an address for those who prefer to pay by cash, check
or money order. Make sure the payment process is clear, easy to access
and intuitive to use. Eliminate as many steps as possible. Do not ask
for any more information than is necessary to complete the transaction.
Nothing frightens a customer off faster than feeling that their privacy
is being invaded.
7. Simple Navigation
Make site navigation easy and intuitive. While it may be artistic to
make your index page all black and hide the link to continue, will that
generate business? If your customer can not navigate your site to find
what they want, they will go elsewhere. Limit the choices and direct your
customers through a sales process.
Make sure the site is consistent in look, feel and design. Nothing is
more jarring and disturbing to a customer than feeling as if they have
just gone to another site. Keep colors and themes constant throughout
9. Design for indexing
85% of all web users find what they are looking for via the top search
engines. Make sure that your page is designed to maximize your placement.
Focus on your keywords and keyword density but don't sacrifice your message.
Utilize the meta tags keywords, description and title. Use your keywords
when naming your pages.
10. Content is (still) king
Good content sells product. Ask yourself the following questions. Does
your copy convey the message you wish to get across to your visitors?
Is it compelling? Does it lead your visitor through the sales process?
Have others review, critique and edit your copy to insure it is delivering
the intended message. Always double check your spelling and grammar.
Implementing the ten steps above probably will not make your site as
successful as Yahoo or Amazon overnight. If they are implemented correctly
and integrated into an overall web site design and marketing campaign,
you should see a marked improvement in the site's traffic and sales.
|About the author
Copyright 1998, 2003 Tony L. Callahan All Rights Reserved
Tony L. Callahan, is a successful Internet Promotions Consultant with
more than twenty years of industry experience and is president of
his own Internet marketing company, Link-Promote.
He also publishes Web-Links Monthly, a newsletter full of tips, tricks,
tools and techniques for successful web site promotions. To subscribe,
send e-mail to: Web-Linksfirstname.lastname@example.org.
For an online archive of Tony's articles available for reprint, visit:
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