by: Candice Pardue
you're designing your new web site, you'll
be tempted with web design ideas that could turn
into fatal mistakes. This is especially true
if your web site represents your business.
Below are five of the most common mistakes to
avoid at all costs...
1. Too Many Graphics
Having too many graphics (particularly large
graphics), can cause your site to load entirely
too slow. Visitors will get impatient and
often times click out of your site -- never to
SOLUTION: When possible save your graphics as
GIF files (gif.htm) rather than JPEG (jpg.htm).
Also, reduce your graphic in actual size as
much as you can without distorting the graphic
A visitor counter or hits counter should not
be seen on your site unless you have trememdous
traffic. The reason for this is visitors
really don't want to know which visitor they
are, especially if they're visitor number four.
There's no benefit to your visitor, nor is
there any benefit to you. The only way showing
a counter is advantageous is if you've had
millions of visitors and wish to display the
popularity of your site or would like to
attract advertisers with the large numbers.
Otherwise, you can use this space for a
benefit-packed headline that leads your
visitor to another part of your site.
SOLUTION: Most web hosts offer web statistics
that reveal daily visitors, hits, referrers,
etc. This feature will let you know how many
people are visiting your site without the whole
world seeing the information. If you're just
starting out, make sure your web host offers
this free service.
Limit your banners to the bare necessities.
Why? Because banners are graphics that can
slow loading time and are a turn-off for many
surfers on the internet. For most, "banner"
is just another word for "ad" and they avoid
clicking on them.
SOLUTION: If you do have a banner or two,
place the banner at the very top or bottom of
your page. Or you could place a small banner
in your sidebar. Most people will look at
the first picture they see and then start
reading below the picture, so any writing or
links that are above the banner may remain
unnoticed. Also, the banners on your site
should be related to your product or service.
Remember, everything on your site should work
together to benefit your target customer.
4. Scattered Web Site
When designing your site, make sure it has a
pattern that leads your visitor. Get several
people (friends or relatives) to visit your
site and watch them as they navigate. Notice
the places where they stop (as if they're
finished) and also links that they click on.
Organizing your site to lead visitors is very
important whether you're leading them to buy
something or just to click and go to another
place in your site. Customers are silently
begging to be led.
SOLUTION: Take a look at the flow of your
site. Design it in a fashion that always
continues like this...
Make sure that graphics don't get in the way
of your lead. If the visitor stops in the
middle of the home page to click on a graphic
or banner before getting to your sales page,
they may never return. You've got one chance
to get the visitor's attention and keep it.
Make the most of it.
The most effective way of selling on the
internet is to personalize your web site to
reach your target audience. Many web sites
are general and try to reach everybody. The
reality is that you can't be everything to
everybody. The business owners who are
successful on the web normally have very
specific products or services that target a
SOLUTION: Make your site as personal as
possible. As you're writing, pretend that
you are face to face with the customer.
Present your web site in such a way that
the visitor feels like he just walked into
a store in his hometown. Also, stay
focused on your target customer (one who
would be interested in "your" product.)
These five mistakes should be avoided at
all costs if you want to build an effective
and successful web business.
Design your site to sell!
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