A visitor has decided to visit your website for a reason — they want more information about your products or services and are potentially ready to buy, or subscribe.
What makes a great website?
- You must identify the aims or objectives of your website.
Are you promoting your service or selling a product? This will determine the visual elements of your website design and content structure.
- Presenting your company logo and straplines clearly and always make your logo a link to your homepage.
- Designing well thought out navigation allows visitors to move around your web site as quickly as possible. If you need to use drop-down menus, use no more than 8 selectable items in each drop-down menu. Try to avoid ‘fly-out’ navigation systems as moving a mouse sideways leads you to ‘fall off’ the menu.
- Content, content, content!
Your website content needs to be written in short, concise sentences. Visitors don’t read, they ‘scan’ — so use bulleted lists wherever possible. Do not to make your content too ‘keyword’ rich. Your content must read and flow naturally.
- Consider splitting content heavy website pages into a series of smaller pages
- If you plan a content heavy website, consider a search tool on your website
- Style the content area of your website with light colour backgrounds and dark colour text
- Highlighting your ‘Call-to-action’ buttons or statements will encourage your visitors to follow you on Twitter, become a Facebook fan or subscribe to your newsletter.
- Use your website footer to promote the deeper links within your website. Publishing other important website pages in the footer will attract page clicks and views. Search engines pay particular attention to the links in your footer too as it helps them crawl through your website more efficiently.
- Your website pages must be written in search engine friendly standards compliant HTML & CSS code to help search engines understand what you are trying to achieve with your website.
Website functionality to avoid
Here we highlight just a few common features which are of no benefit to website visitors: Flash introduction pages, animated navigation buttons, pop-up boxes, autoplay music, hit counters, date and time stamps, out of date content and dead links.