Where is the Party
With hundreds of millions of individuals now online, social networking sites are among the most popular sites. To attract groups, try using a blog, twitter, flickr, digg, YouTube or even create your own podcast. Let your creative side show with these emerging technologies and let the party begin.
Navigation is Everything
It actually is the web site. With bad navigation and poor site structure your site will be confusing and hard to navigate. Most users typically spend 30 to 60 seconds on the homepage. If they spend most of that time trying to figure out where to go next chances are they will go to another web site that is easier to use. You will want to have simple navigation if you want to build a good website.
Keep Your Message Short
Studies show that over 80% of people online don’t read, but they scan. Take the text you planned on using for your web site and cut it in half, then take that and try to cut it in half again. Only include important and relevant information. You want your message to be meaninguly and memorable.
Less is More
Your design, especially the homepage, should be clean and not cluttered. If your site is too busy it may scare off or confuse the user. Web users are busy and they want to get straight to the facts or order a product. (see billboard design)
You want your homepage to be like a billboard. Imagine driving down the highway and spotting a billboard, you only have a few seconds to look at it, process the information, decide if it is for you and what to do next; call or visit their web site. Your homepage should be the same way; the user should know what you are about within a few seconds.
You will want to try to get a domain name that is either short, easy to spell, or easy to remember. Also, try to buy the .net .us .info etc. extensions if your budget permits. Try to include keywords or company name in the domain if possible.
Tie it All Together
You want your web site to match and flow with your current identity and other materials. Additionally, you will want to put your web site address on all of your printed materials.
Spiders See Things Different
Your web site may look easy to comprehend on the outside, but to a search engine spider it looks completely different. A web site should be both people friendly, (Good Design, Usability, Navigation, and Content) and search engine friendly, (Keyword Density, Page Names, Site Structure, META Tags, Links, Site Maps and more). High ranking on a search engine is a huge asset.
Measure The Results
Having a popular web site is great but is all that traffic converting into sales or leads? How is everyone getting to your site? Is there a section of the site you could improve upon? With analytics strapped to your site you will be able to make decisions to improve your site and business based on fact not theory.
You Get What You Pay For
You could have your neighbor or secretary design your web site, but owning a computer doesn’t make them a web design firm, just as owning a first aid kit does not make someone a doctor. It’s best to leave design and programming to a web design agency that knows what they are doing.