By this point, who doesn’t know everything there is know about building a successful website? Most people will visit dozens of websites in just a typical day of surfing. You know what works and you know what doesn’t. Right? Well…maybe not so much. Check out these tips on website design, and then see which of them you are not putting into practice on your own site.
Domain Name: Maybe the reason your website design is not producing the business return you thought it would has less to do with the design itself than the design of its name. The ugly reality is that a brilliantly designed website with a domain name easy to remember and type correctly may be more successful than a clunky site with a catchy domain name that is hard to mistype. Let’s get even more blunt: the best website design tip you may read this year may well be to keep the design you already have, but point it to a brand new domain name.
Browser Compatibility: Website design browser compatibility used to be simple: as long as those who surfed using either Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator could use the site equally well, you were good to go. Browser compatibility today means pleasing everyone from an Apple laptop user to a Windows smartphone user. You must make sure that your Flash presentations don’t crash when Google Chrome users get to your site. Website design means that all those pretty pictures don’t go completely to waste on a smaller screen than the one they were designed and tested on.
Personalize the Experience: You want to know one of the secrets to the success of big-time big business sites from Amazon.com to Wal-Mart? Yes, their website design is user-friendly, aesthetically attractive and gets you from browsing to purchasing with an almost zen-like ease. But the real secret of the website design of Amazon.com is that once you have subscribed, each time you come back you are greeted personally. If you can’t personalize the experience for the visitor, you need to go back to the drawing board and start your website design all over again.
Analytics: A good rule of thumb when it comes to website design is to design with analytics in mind. It is a no-brainer to take advantage of every bit of traffic analysis you can afford. Less of a no-brainer, but every bit as important is designing your website so that all that data clearly points to who is visiting your site, the pages they are visiting, the parts of the page they are spending time, the pages they return to and–very significantly–all the elements on your website that visitors avoid.
Navigation: Website design should begin with navigation. Website downloading should begin with navigation and that navigation should put function ahead of aesthetics. All other aspects of website design on which you will be spending countless hours tweaking and perfecting will be for naught if visitors cannot effortlessly move back and forth between pages.
Black Backgrounds are Evil: One of the best website design tips you will get in any year is also one of the simplest. Avoid having any part of any page of your website display as black background. Doesn’t matter what color or font text you use, reading words on a black background is misery even for those with the best vision surfing the web under the ideal lighting conditions. Even if offline element in your marketing strategy is defined by a black background, you should avoid it during the process of website design.
eBook Promotion: You really have no reason not to self publish an eBook related to your business. It is just too easy to create and sell eBooks now to not take advantage of the marketing possibilities. Website design should be done with promoting sales of your eBook an integral component. Check out the page offering my eBook “The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing” as an example.