Some thoughts on what makes a great website…

Don’t get in the way.

Everything on every web page should have a purpose. Be thoughtful about your photos, text, ads, sidebars, and calls-to-action. Your pages should flow well. Too many distractions = poor usability = less sales.

More is not necessarily better.

You need enough content to make the sale or get the lead. Try not to overdue it. You should have more text than photos, except for gallery pages. Gallery pages should feature your absolute best work only. Limit your slideshows. People don’t usually watch them.

What will they respond to?

Know your customer. What is their issue? What problem are you solving? What products do they want to buy? Make sure your photos are compelling and appropriate to the topic of the page. Make sure your information is organized so they can find answers to their questions quickly and easily.

Where are they?

Where do your people hang out? Make sure your internet marketing materials are branded well across many platforms.

What kind of devices are your customers typically using?

Are your perfect customers sitting at a desk in front of a PC? Or, are they always on their phone? Are they sophisticated big-city professionals using big monitors with high-speed internet, or folks in rural settings with slower connections? Make sure you are designing for the main devices your customers are using.

Empty space is OK and may not be usable space anyway.

Reading web pages is not easy. The glare from monitors and screens is fatiguing to the eyes. Planned white space eases eye strain and makes online reading a more pleasant experience. Also, empty space on either side of a website is a common “boxed” design choice. Those areas are not safe or usable for important web content.

Design for your people, not for yourself.

Design your site for the people who are going to give you their money. They should like your website and reward you with their hard-earned cash. You should like your website, too. It should be a practical, time-saving, marketing tool that shares your information 24/7. However, your customers are more important.

Design for humans, not search engines.

Don’t get so caught up in SEO that your content (text) sound like crap. Write for your people. They are going to read your text and if they resonate with your message, they will become your customer. Search engines are not your customers. They will not give you any cash. SEO is good. Just go easy on it.

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