by Shelley Lowery
After reviewing thousands of web sites over the past couple of years for
my Exceptional Sites Award, I have come to the conclusion that many business
web sites are missing the boat.
For example; I've been working on some offline promotions and was searching
for a simple targeted mailing list. I searched through about twenty sites
and not one of those sites were, what I would consider, professional. Their
standard blue links were enlarged to about a size 16 font, busy backgrounds,
flashing images and very unorganized.
Did I purchase a mailing list from any of those sites? Absolutely not. Why?
The way I see it, if those companies don't take pride in their web sites,
chances are, they won't take pride in their products either. Large linked
text and flashing graphics won't make sales.
Your web site is a direct reflection of you and your business. The appearance
of your site is the most important factor in determining your sites value.
In other words, if your site doesn't look professional or pleasing to the
eyes at first glance, its perceived value and the value of your products
and services will be low.
On the other hand, you may have a great web site, well designed and a quality
product or service, but if it takes too long to load, the value will still
be perceived as low. Why? Because your potential customer won't wait. Ultimately
costing you business.
Another consideration of great importance is your content. Not just links,
but content with value. When someone is surfing the net and they visit your
web site, they're visiting for a reason. Your site has something they want.
Whether it is your product, service or information, that's why they're there.
If they don't find what they're looking for, they move on to the next site
and so on. If you want your visitors to stay at your site, provide the quality
content they're looking for in a nicely organized fashion. Give them a reason
to want to explore your site and to continue to visit your site in the
After receiving many questions, in regard to site design, from my visitors
who weren't selected to receive an award, I have devised a list of what I
refer to as "35 Deadly Web Site Sins".
Take some time to really look at your site. Compare it to sites that you
feel look professional. Time your sites load time. Your customers won't wait.
Their time is valuable.
- Poor load time
- Poor overall appearance
- No contact information
- Poor content
- Poor navigation
- Broken links and graphics
- Poor browser compatibility
- Large slow loading graphics
- Too many graphics
- Pages scrolling to oblivion
- Multiple use of animated graphics
- Animated bullets
- Too many graphic and/or line dividers
- Busy, distracting backgrounds
- Multiple banners and buttons
- Poor use of frames
- Large fonts
- Pop up messages
- Over use of Java
- Poor use of tables
- Poor organization
- Different backgrounds on each page
- Over powering music set to autoplay
- Too much advertising
- Large Welcome banners
- Multiple colored text
- Text difficult to read
- No Meta tags
- Multiple use of different fonts
- Under construction signs
- Scrolling text in the status bar
- Large scrolling text across the page
- Poor use of mouse over effects
The simple, well designed sites make the sales. If your sales aren't what
you had hoped , take some time to seriously evaluate your site and make some
changes before spending your time and money on advertising and marketing.
You may be pleasantly surprised.
About the Author
Shelley Lowery is the Webmistress of Web Source - Your Guide to Professional
Website Design and Development. Join The Syndicator, our new, free article
syndication program and display complete articles w/photographs on your website
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