Monday, May 5, 2008

A Question To Ask Yourself – Do I Have A Great-Looking Web Site?

There's a big difference between a well-designed website and a great-looking one. A well-designed site is one that sells! It leads visitors through the sales process without getting in their way. If it's pretty on top of that, fine. That's gravy. But don't confuse the two.

What you want your design to do is entice people to stay on your site when they get there, draw them into your message and make it easy for them to keep reading so they can make a buying decision.

I come across so many sites that do just the opposite. If you are committing any of the mistakes listed below on your web site, it could be killing your conversion rates.

#1: Slow-loading pages and graphics

Count out three seconds. In web time, it feels like forever! If your home page takes that long to load, you've got trouble on your hands. Internet users are extremely impatient. Aren’t you? If they can't begin reading or viewing your page right away, they're going to leave and go to another, more user-friendly site.

#2: Do you have eye-catching headline to grab your visitors' attention

OK, they gave your site a try. Now you have to capture your visitors' attention right away and convince them your site has exactly what they're looking for. The best way to do that is with a well-formatted, attention-grabbing headline that's packed with intriguing benefits and compels them to read further.

#3: Distracting banners and links

On your site, don't put up banners or links that send people to someone else's site (and that includes Google AdWords ads). Everything on your site should directly relate to its ultimate purpose--whether it's to get more opt-ins for your e-mail list or to sell your product. Anything on your site that doesn't serve this main purpose should be immediately deleted.

Of course, if the purpose of your site is purely to promote affiliate products or other sellers, then obviously you'll want to include banners or links. But if you try to promote affiliate products on a page that's also meant to sell a specific product, you'll end up doing a lousy job of both.

#4: Too many dizzying colors or fonts

Nothing screams "amateur!" louder than a dizzying mishmash of different fonts and colors. To make your site look professional, use a basic color scheme with two or three colors and a couple of fonts. Look at any well-designed site and you'll see that it's pretty conservative with the colors and fonts it uses.

#5: Patterned backgrounds

Make sure your background stays in the background! If you add textures or use dark backgrounds on your site, people won't be able to read your copy easily. And if you aren't making it easy for them to read your copy, you aren't making it easy for them to buy your product. There are still many older browsers in use that simply don’t handle dark colors very well.

#6: Too many distracting graphics, animations, or video clips

Here's another amateur mistake: thinking that lots of images, fancy graphics, animated gifs or video clips will make your site more interesting.

Unless those visual elements help persuade people to buy your product by showing visitors what your product looks like, or demonstrating how it works, they're useless decorations that will distract your visitors and prevent them from following through on what you want them to do.

#7: Huge blocks of text that are nearly impossible to read

What happens when you run into a giant block of text on a website? Do you read it, scan it or skip over it to something shorter? If you want your visitors to read all the way to your "order" button, make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

Copyright © 1988-2008, The Hand Made Product Directory / New Creations Consulting, LLC

All rights reserved

No comments: