How Not to Design a Website

April 12th 2011       Sally Ormond       Call to action, search engine optimisation, Website copywriting, website design

 

Whether you’ve got a website and need a revamp or you’re just starting out on  the web there are certain things you need to avoid when thinking about your design.

Remember that your website is, in effect, your online shop window. Think about how it will be viewed by your visitors, what they will want to see and what they’ll need to know.

Don’t be complicated

If a visitor lands on your website they will want to be able to find out what they need to know quickly and easily.

If they’re faced with numerous options, confusing navigation and a ‘busy’ Home page they are more than likely going to wander off and find another less complicated site.

Although you need links within your text to aid navigation, don’t over do it. There’s nothing more off putting than text littered with links and – more to the point – vast quantities of boxes in the sidebar containing links and asking them to do umpteen things.

Make your navigation simple and logical.

Flash

At one time Google couldn’t read flash and so it was pretty useless when it came to SEO. Now, the search engine spiders can crawl through it but it still has limited effectiveness when it comes to search engine optimisation.

If you can live without it do, if you can’t keep it to an absolute minimum.

Pretty pictures

Pictures are great but can be over done.
Use them to enhance your text or show your products off. But make sure they are great images, bad ones can kill a website.

And don’t forget that images can also help you with your SEO.

How fast?

Long loading times are a killer. No one wants to hang around while your site loads, even if it does have a little count down graphic.

Google likes sites that load quickly as this post from the Google Official Webmaster Central Blog shows.

The offer

Your website is there to sell so you must have a call to action and an offer.

Some people get so wrapped up in SEO and the look of their site they completely miss it’s main purpose – it’s a sales tool. Without an offer and a clear call to action your website will be completely ineffective.

Of course, along with a new design, fresh content is always a good idea so hiring a good SEO copywriter is always a great investment

Tags: Call to action, search engine optimisation, Website copywriting, website design
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