Over the course of the last decade, the Internet has grown beyond all expectations. Each and everyday there is a new website that is being developed. The biggest challenge a new website will face is getting viewers to stay on their site long enough and to attain high search results with search engines.
One of the factors that could help you address these issues is having a website with good web design. The importance of knowing proper web design can very well determine where your site is listed in search results and how long a visitor stays on your site.
Proper web design is not a difficult task, it is just a matter of designing your website from a viewers point of view. This article will give you suggestions on proper web design to enhance your search results with search engines and capturing a higher interest from your visitors.
What Your Site Is About
First off, it is vital that your home page explains in detail the purpose of your website. Did you ever go to a website that was filled with a lot of links, graphics or banners, but you really didn’t have a clue of what their website was all about? If a person has to search from page to page just to understand what information your website really offers, the chances are they will move onto another site. Don’t keep them second-guessing, it’s important that you are very specific on your home page, letting your viewers know up-front your websites main purpose.
When creating your website keep in mind not all people have the same eyesight. It is best to use nothing less than10 point, with12 point being the most recommended. Keep all pages in your website consistent with the same font size and style (this of course is in exception to titles and sub-titles).
Make reading your pages easy by always using a dark text with a light background. Using a light colored text against a light background can make it difficult for your readers to read the content. There are a few sites that reverse this process by using a light text on dark background, which is found acceptable in some cases, but you are better off using dark on light for your overall content.
Paragraphs and Spacing
To make reading your web pages easy for your viewers, do not use long paragraphs on your web pages. Try to keep your paragraphs to only 6 to 7 lines with proper spacing between each one. Try to implement sub-titles to break up several paragraphs, as this creates easier reading and is more attention getting.
Does your website provide more useful content than advertisements? Providing viewers with very little content is a common mistake many webmasters make when they develop their website. I can’t begin to tell you how many websites I’ve seen that may only have a couple paragraphs of what I call useful content, and the rest being advertisements, sales pitches, links, banners, etc.
If you are going to take the time to develop and invest in a website, you need to focus on providing your viewers with informative information. Search engines favor sites that have useful content, not to mention you will capture a stronger interest from your viewers.
Try to keep each of your pages no more than four pages in length. The reasons for this is that no one likes to spend a lot of the time scrolling just to read the entire content. If you have a lot of content, break it into separate pages. You can put in a link of “continue”, “next”, or “go to page #” at the bottom of each page.
Nothing can be more frustrating than trying to figure out how to maneuver around ones website. Most any person (including myself) will leave a website as fast as they came in if they find it difficult to get from page to page.
Make it easy for your viewers to navigate around your website by putting navigation links on all of your pages. It is advised that all navigation links follow the same pattern on each page so as not to confuse your viewer. Setting your navigation links on the either side and also on the top or bottom is highly recommended.
Page Load Time
Did you ever click on a link to a website and found you had to wait 20 seconds or longer for the website to open? I don’t know about you, but if I have to wait too long for a website to open, I will click off of it and go to another website.
This problem is caused by a Webmaster having too many graphics or animations on their website. Large graphics and animations will definitely slow the load time to your website. Keep in mind the majority of Internet users are still using dial-up for their Internet connection, so the time it takes for a website to open with a lot of graphics, can seem like eternity to them.
To avoid this problem do not use too many graphics on your website and try to resize the ones you want to keep. The ideal is to set your pages to load within ten seconds to avoid losing visitors.
Setting The Right Resolution
Setting the right resolution when creating your web pages can save you from visitors leaving your site rather quickly. The most important thing to understand is that the majority of all PC’s are set at a 800 x 600 resolution. The problem here is, if a internet user with these settings goes on a website that was created with a higher resolution, the user will end up scrolling left to right in order to view all of the web page.
Even though there are ways around this by implementing tables into your web page, you are better off creating all your web pages so they can be viewed on PC’s with a lower resolution.
If you don’t have a link that is accessible to a contacts page, most people will not purchase anything from you.
It is highly recommended to place links that are plainly visible on all of your web pages that go to a separate contacts page. This page should give your viewers a way to contact you with any questions, concerns or comments. This helps ensure support and trust in doing business with you.
This can be the most annoying feature a website can have in my opinion. Pop ups are used to get the viewers attention to either sign up for something or purchase their products. Although I understand the basis to pop ups and what they are meant to achieve, I feel there are other ways to capture your visitors attention that should get you the same results.
The most effective way to capture your visitors interest is having solid content on your website with informative information, as mentioned earlier. With that being said, you can implement title links in between some of your paragraphs, which can take your visitors to separate pages on “special promotions”, “newsletters” or “products”. On these pages, you can list the same message you would have in your pop up. This is far more acceptable since the viewer is making the choice to click on the link.
If you feel your website needs to use pop ups, use a pop under instead. This form of pop up only comes up when a person leaves your website and is far less annoying.
A site map is a separate page that list a complete directory to your entire website. You can relate to it like what a table of contents is to a book. Having a site map on your website helps the viewer maneuver through your site without confusion or second-guessing where to find something. Most search engines favor sites with site maps, which in turn will improve your search rankings, as well as placement.
Update Your Site Often
This is a valid step you want to take seriously. Updating your site with new content gives your viewers a reason to revisit your website. Search engines love sites that update their site often, which will definitely increase your search engine rankings.
It can be an added benefit to add a section on your home page that tells your viewers when your site was last updated, the type of changes that were made and a link to each update.
Updating your site once a week or every other week should work very well for you.
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