You have your domain name, your product, and your hosting company. Now you are ready to make some serious money online. All you need is a website. You create your masterpiece and stand back to admire it. Yes, there is no way anyone could resist your work of art. There is no way your visitor is going to resist your site. Right? So here are the top website mistakes that will kill the sale.
Did you design a killer website or a website that kills?
Don’t make these mistakes when designing your site.
Website Mistakes That Will Kill the Sale
Big Useless Graphics
You’ve approximately 13 seconds, 20 max, to grab your visitors’ attention or click she is gone. Visitors are not going to wait for large graphics to download. They are there for information. While we are it, forget the Flash. If you insist on Flash, give your visitors an option to view your site without it.
Welcome to My Site, Company, etc.
Your site should open with a compelling, can’t resist the headline. Something that will stimulate their interest. How many brochures, newspapers, magazines, or any marketing piece say Welcome to…When were the last TV commercial and advertising you saw that said Welcome to My Commercial?
Frames belong around pictures, not sites. Older browsers don’t support them. Navigation can be confusing. You can’t bookmark them. Search Engines don’t index them well. You can’t print the page. Most of the time you have to scroll to read the text. Make sure your site will really benefit from using frames before deciding to use them.
Visitors will tolerate a long vertical scroll but not a horizontal scroll. It is frustrating to keep scrolling to the side to read the text. Not everyone has a 19” or 21” monitor. The majority of people still have 15” monitors. The total width of your website should not exceed 600 pixels. People just hate to scroll horizontally.
Under Construction Signs
A site should always be under construction. It should be updated regularly. Don’t put the page up until it is ready. Construction signs are used by “the small guys”.
Best View with…Shockwave, Flash, Explorer, Netscape, etc.
People will not take the time to download the plug-in to view your site. Optimizing your site for a specific browser is also silly. Your site should be designed to work with all browsers. If you design your site for Explore only or Netscape only, you are going to lose a good size group of visitors. Don’t forget about AOL users too!
Run link checks on your site at least once a month. Pages your linking to can change or no longer exist.
No Way Back
Never assume your visitor will hit his browser’s back button. Provide at least one navigation button or text link to go somewhere.
What’s that you ask? Have you ever gone to the site and before it’s done downloading, another smaller window opens up? Many people find them aggravating especially when they first visiting the site. Pop-up windows distract from the page they are visiting. Save Pop-up windows for when they leave your site if you are going to use them.
Guest books, counters, blinkers and scrolling marquees, etc.
Guest books are passé and people now guard their email addresses. Nobody cares how many hits you’ve had and counters can be set at any number. Blinkers and marquees are signs of an amateur designer and are annoying to your visitors. Stick to business.
This is just a small list of Web site Pet Peeves but they are among the most popular.
Who are you designing your site for…you or your customer? Keep it simple, fast loading, and easy to navigate. Don’t forget to put something of value on it for your visitor.