Posts tagged: flash

10 Common website mistakes to avoid like the plague

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By , 11/27/2011 20:59

According to Netcraft, there are over 266 million websites on the Internet. But there’s a huge difference between a really good website and a really bad one. Where do you sit on the scale? Whether you’re in the planning stages or about due for a review, take a look at our pick of the Top 10 common mistakes to avoid like the plague.

  1. It’s not about you. Your website should be all about your customer – not how great you are and what you do. Talk to them in language they can relate to and engage them to the point you can sell to them. Always write the content with the good old WIIFM principle (What’s in it for me?) or put another way, ‘Why are you telling me this?’
  2. Not capturing visitor details. Let’s face it – it’s hard work getting someone to visit your website, so don’t let them get away! You must have an opt-in on your home page to capture their contact details so you can stay in touch and build a relationship.
  3. Too much flash. Your customers don’t want long load times, search engines don’t like it and neither do smartphones. Use flash moderately on your site or avoid it if you can.
  4. Long gaps between updates. You need to regularly review and update your site to keep the content relevant, fresh and interesting for your customers.
  5. No social media icons. Give customers a way to interact with you and get information on what you’re up to via social media. Make it easy for visitors to ‘like’ you and capture their information so you can grow your database by adding social media icons that are visible on your webiste.
  6. Using stock photos. People do business with people. Your customers want to see who you are and it’s one of the best ways to build trust. Use real photos and be yourself.
  7. Overdesigning and overcrowding. Think Apple – keep it simple and beautiful. The success of your website is in the planning. What will your customer want to use it for? Make it user friendly and easy to navigate.
  8. Assuming your designer knows what you want. Think carefully and take the time to talk to your web designer in detail about what you want your website to do and look like now and in 5 years time. Although changes may occur organically, it’s important to think long term as it can be very costly to keep changing your website.
  9. Not monitoring traffic. It’s key to have a good monitoring program so you can see if your website is actually working. What pages are most visited and how long do they stay? Find out how your website is performing and where you need to improve it.
  10. Lack of a sound strategy and purpose. Why do you have a website? What is its purpose? If it’s not making you money then how are you going to recoup the time and money you have invested? Get clear on your purpose and keep it front of mind with everything you do.

At mySmartWebsite we are here to help small businesses become successful online by providing products and service that make the online experience painless. Feel free to contact us on 1300 652 266 to see how we can help you take your business to the next level.

Five Steps to Better Web Design

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By , 12/06/2010 19:15

Source: Luke Telford | Nett Magazine

Web design is easy to get wrong. If you want your website to capture the attention of visitors, it’s best to take a couple of steps back and gain some perspective on what it’s purpose actually is. It can be very easy to get caught up in the details. Here are some points to consider.

1. Looks are important

You may not like to judge a book by it’s cover, but online, appearance is the most important thing after search placement. If your site doesn’t look right on first impression, visitors won’t stick around long enough to find out if what you’re offering is relevant to their search term. The very fact that Google has recently introduced Instant Preview – a function to allow searchers to vet websites according to a thumbnail of their homepage – is proof of this.

2. Design is about more than just looks

Design doesn’t just refer to the way your homepage looks. It helps to think of your website as a structure, like a building: it’s design is like the architectural blueprints and floor plans of a house. In the same way you need to consider which way the door to each room opens, you need to make sure that each page on your site links to the others in a logical way. This is easier to stay on top of if you remember that less is more with web design. Start with the basics and work your way up.

3. Don’t be too flash

Flash may look great, but it’s not very practical. When people visit your site, they want to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily; lavish animation just presents another barrier. Richard Graham from My Sydney Detour discovered this the hard way. He went through countless web designers, all of whom tried to make his business’s website look and feel as interactive as possible, at the cost of simple navigation. After taking some sound advice, Graham stripped the gimmick right down to a simple theme, and straightforward navigation. Have a look: it’s clean, simple and effective.

4. Avoid clutter

Don’t have too much on your homepage. Having a cluttered page is going to scare your buyer away. A busy page is like a messy room: uninviting. If there is space for your homepage to breathe, it’s more likely that your visitors will stay for the 3-5 seconds it takes for them to figure out if your business is relevant to them or not. More like this, less like this.

5. Above the fold

As with email newsletters, the most important part of your entire website isn’t just your homepage – it’s the part of it that visitors see as soon as they arrive. The ‘fold' is the cut-off point for their very first look at your homepage, before they start scrolling down and exploring. It’s vital that the information that appears above the fold shows them that they’ve come to the right place. This site is a perfect example.

There's no such thing as 'good enough' in web design. Want to know how to improve your site? Get a free website review from mySmartwebsite

 

 

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