By Jason OConnor
There are 5 elements that every page of every Web site must have. They are
standard, and expected by Web users. When one of them is missing, it screams
to a viewer that it's an amateur site. If a few or all of them are missing,
don't expect anyone to linger for very long.
These 5 elements make
site visitors' life easier and saves them time, two extremely important
characteristics of an effective Web site.
1) Consistent colors, fonts,
and look & feel.
This is a basic tenant of Web design. If you ran a
traditional ad campaign that used three different creative ads, would each
one look totally different? The answer is `no'. Using the same fonts, the
same colors and keeping the general look & feel consistent is fundamental
to presenting a unified, dependable, and congruent image. If your look &
feel is all over the place, your potential customers may think you are all
over the place.
Try for one main font throughout and maybe a secondary
font. Two primary colors are best with a third as a secondary color. A shade
of one of the two primary colors works well for the secondary
2) Consistent navigation and a `Home' link.
If you present
a navigational scheme on your homepage, then your users immediately start to
learn where to find all the ways to locate elements of your site the minute
they arrive. If you then place the same links in different spots on other
pages you are making it unnecessarily difficult for your viewers. It is
unconsciously annoying to users, and gives the impression once again that you
and your company are inconsistent and undependable. Don't make users work
harder than they have to get information from your site.
Also, provide a
way for a user to get back to your home page on every page of your site.
Often this is the page a user is most familiar with so they may want to go
back. If someone emails an associate a link to an inner page in your site and
they click on it, it is a good idea to provide a way for that new user to get
to your home page.
3) A search function.
This is another one of
those standard features that most people expect now. If there is a specific
bit of information that a person wants to find, don't make them wade through
every page of your site. Implementing a search function is easy and free.
This truly makes a site user's life a lot easier.
4) Text, not just
images, and text links, not just buttons.
Advertising agencies who also
make Web sites have a tendency to use too many graphics, often at the expense
of text. A good rule of thumb is that if you have words in an image, take it
out and replace it with html text. This is good for a number of reasons;
including making the site more search engine friendly and loading
faster. Search engines can only key off text, not words found in
images. Also, graphic-intensive site take longer to load.
If you don't
include text versions of your links, and only use buttons (which are images)
then a number of popular search engines can't index your site because they
can't read links embedded in images. So it's important always to include text
links as well as buttons.
5) Phone number, logo, tag
Don't make your Web site an obstacle or wall for your
prospects and customers by leaving off your phone number. Every page
should have your phone number listed. It is very frustrating to go to
a company's site and have no way to reach them except through a form
Always include your logo and tag line on every page as well.
If you don't have a tag line, start thinking about creating one, your site
is a great place to repeatedly get your message out.
All of the above
mentioned elements can be included on an html template that is used for every
page in your site. Templates make it easy to include all of these and quickly
update or change them too. Templates are for another discussion, but keep in
mind they are very useful.
Most importantly, make sure every page of
your site incorporates these top five elements; they are a very necessary
foundation for any effective Web site.
Including Personal Information on Your Website
Many web site owners disclose little about themselves on their sites. This may be for reasons of confidentiality. But
remember that if you want people to purchase your goods and services, they need to be able to trust in you.
Psychology of Color
When color is used correctly, it can add impact and clarity to your message and highlight important points. When color is used incorrectly, it can compromise your message and confuse your target audience - to the point that they click their way out of your site as quickly as they can.
Creating A Web Page That Spells Out Benefits
to Customers Effectively
One of the most powerful methods of marketing your products or services on the Internet today is to create a benefits web page. Let's face it, customers are interested in knowing how they will benefit from purchasing your products or services.