Designing a website is a lot of work but if you do it right, it will pay off. If you already have the technical know-how to start building your site, there are some basic rules that can help you make it as effective as possible. It’s important that you make your website memorable and compelling, because you want the most traffic as you can get. With some sound advice you will be well on your way to accomplishing a smartly designed website.
It’s in the Words
You may think that flashy colors and graphics are what attract visitors to a website. This is not the case. Text is the most important element of any website. It is only those who are interested in what you have to say who will return to your site. You need to make a lasting impression to guarantee more visitors. The visuals are enjoyable the words are memorable. Use unique and easily understood language. Avoid clichés, jargon or overblown language. You want to appeal to the majority, so think like your target audience. Web users appreciate simple and straightforward text that makes an impact. After you’ve written a draft of each page’s text, have an editor or proofreader go over everything. A thorough edit by multiple sets of eyes can draw your attention to things you’ve overlooked.
Keywords are another important component of writing effective web content. With a little research you can discover what some of the most popular keyword searches are that relate to your subject matter. The idea is to incorporate as many of these keywords or phrases as you can, and to do so as often as possible. Boosting the keyword density of your website will make it show up in search result lists more often. Without effective keywords for a search engine to flag, Internet users will not be directed to your website. A strong keyword density accelerates your site’s visit count.
Secret Weapon: A Simple Layout
The simplest websites are the most successful. Visitors to your site do not want to see junky, distracting pages with lots of clutter. People who are seeking information want to use a website that is clean and easy to follow. So keep your site simple. Maintain a consistency in your layout. Each linked page should follow a template format and if you have many pages, have a side panel or task bar with the contents of the website clearly laid out in active links. The more easily navigable your website is, the more people will want to explore it.
Avoid flashy, lengthy intros before granting admittance to the website. Visitors grow impatient with these. They’d rather see what you have to offer quickly, so save the flash animations and other tricks like that for later. Only use them to accent a really key point or special feature. Generally they are a waste of your effort. The same goes for blinking flashy text. Internet users are trained to block out and avoid flashy features and dialogue boxes because they are so used to spam and pop-ups. These will simply irritate rather than entertain your visitors. Finally, avoid necessary downloads or plug-ins like Flash. This is a huge deterrent for people checking out your site. If extra effort is required, chances are they’ll walk away. These are just a few basic tips to use as a starting point for your web design. If followed carefully you have a great foundation for building an effective and user-friendly website.
Andy Alagappan is experienced in web design for search engine optimization for small to mid-size businesses nationwide, for both B2B & B2C clients looking to sell their services nationwide. http://www.andyalagappan.com