Navigation is Everything
It actually is the website. With bad navigation and poor site structure your site will be confusing and hard to navigate. Otherwise, you might as well just scan in a brochure and have that be your 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 website and cut it in half, then take that and try to cut it in half again. Only include important and relevant information.
People Like to Watch TV
Since most of the users won’t be reading your message anyway, why not let them sit back and watch or listen to your message. Video and audio is a great way to set your site apart.
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.
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 website. 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.
Tie it All Together
You want your website to match and flow with your current identity and other materials. Additionally, you will want to put your website address on all of your printed materials.
You Get What You Pay For
You could have your neighbor or secretary design your website, but owning a computer doesn’t make them designers, just as owning a first aid kit does not make someone a doctor. It’s best to leave design and programming to a professional who knows what they are doing.
Spiders See Things Different
Your website may look easy to comprehend on the outside, but to a search engine spider it looks completely different. A website 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 can be a huge asset to your website.
Where is the Party
With hundreds of millions of individuals now online, the internet has formed into groups called Social Networks. To attract groups, try starting a newsletter, blog, or even create your own podcast. Let your creative side show with these emerging technologies and let the party begin.
by Joshua Hughes
© 2007 Digital Skratch Inc. | http://www.digitalskratch.com