Everywhere you look, there’s advice on what works and what doesn’t work in web design (including coding for SEO). While the intent of websites is to convey information, the design of your site weighs heavily whether anyone will actually find and read your content. If you’re running ecommerce, design becomes critical.
Users spend most of their time on OTHER websites – Their experiences on other websites form their expectations for YOUR website. Take some time to research what others in your industry are posting. Your competitor may market inferior products and services, but still outsell you online. Why? The perceived value of their products and services may be enhanced because of the way they’re presented online.
What turns users OFF?
- Excessive use of flash
- Poor navigation
- Excessive use of animated GIFs
- Obtrusive background images
- Unreadable font and background color combinations
- Blinking or scrolling text
- Blatant keyword stuffing
- Irrelevant content based on their search query
- Broken links
- Splash pages with no important information
- Internal links that pop up in new windows
- Itty bitty type points
- No way back to the previous page
- No way back to the home page
- More than 2 or 3 consecutive words in ALL CAPS
- For ecommerce – NO PRICING
- Poor grammar
- Audio with no OFF option or auto loading
- Loooooooooooong paragraphs
- Embarrassing misspellings
- Slooooooooooooow page loading times
What turns users ON?
This ties directly to what users become accustomed to on other sites. You don’t have to spend thousands on design work – just enough to give you an edge or a niche. Of course, these help:
- Effective use of flash
- Fast page load times
- Appropriate amount of white space
- Relevant content based on search query
- For ecommerce – PRICING
- Inuitive navigation
- Unique theme with READABLE font and background color combinations
- Professionally written content
- Easy to get from Point “Search Query” to Point “Buy”
- If your plan is to make money from advertising, then go for a ratio of not less than 70-80% editorial to 20-30% advertising.
- Avoid pop up windows unless it’s for a feature like LiveChat.
- Compress your images to increase your load times.
- Don’t make any line of text longer than 500 pixels. Longer lines of text make it difficult for the viewer to scan back to the next line.
- Increase your leading (the space between lines) to at least 1.5. This will help readibility.
- Don’t underline words if they’re not hyperlinks, and do use color/descriptive words to highlight links.
- Test your links frequently to assure they’re functioning correctly.
- Don’t hotlink to other sites (other than your own).
Article submitted by Steve-Hostirian http://www.hostirian.com