By Bob Speyer and Kristin Tomlinson, Web Success Team
The goal of any website is to engage the visitor, give him a positive first impression, and motivate him to learn more. Unfortunately, sometimes the opposite effect takes place. Many websites overpower the viewer with clashing colors, distracting flash videos, inappropriate music, and much more. People react to clarity, organization, benefits, overall composition and readability. They are focused on their needs and search accordingly. Anything distracting is annoying and gives them a reason to leave — so don’t give them that “excuse.”
A Checklist of the Most Common Mistakes!
• The Sounds of Silence
When trying to promote an online business, avoid playing music on the website. Loud, obnoxious music tends to drown out important content and distract customers from focusing on valuable information. However, an audio (like an important message from the president) is a good idea if the viewer has the choice of turning it on and, of course, off. If it goes on automatically, that’s a web NO!
• Through the Looking Glass of Color
When choosing colors to compliment your page, stay away from bold, bright distracting ones. Background colors (like a black field with white or yellow type) or using an assortment of colors on a single web page can make it look tacky and unattractive. Try to use two complementary colors (and their tints) that are more appealing on the eyes. Color should be used to orient a visitor (like a red call to action button or a blue link) and not to “color code” a website.
• Be Careful What You Flash
The use of flash images or video, if done tastefully, can enhance a website and deliver a strong branded visual message. However, flash tends to be overused and can even slow down the web page. It can distract the viewer from reading the content, particularly if it continues to play as you navigate back and forth on the site.
• Me, Myself and I
A web page that is ego driven and not focused on the product or service is a turn-off. Customers want to know that you have their best interest and not your own. They are benefits driven and want to understand how you can help solve their problem, not yours!
• The Missing Link
Too many links (or too many broken links) take the viewer on a scavenger hunt that leads to unnecessary pages and information. A few navigation links that state the core topics about the business and its mission will outperform a site with to many web pages to choose. People don’t want to be caught up in a maze of information. They want a clear route to contacting you for more information.
Boost Your Site’s Effectiveness
Adding unnecessary elements to a website sends a message that you’re not thinking about the user’s experience. A good rule of thumb is to have 5-10 people critique your home and ask them where was their focus and what they learned about your site — all in 20-30 seconds. Then repeat the exercise, having them navigate through the website for 1 minute, stopping on what catches their interest. You will learn a lot from this informal focus group to actually see how others view your website. Remember, the most effective websites are ones that have a singular purpose, can deliver their message in 10-15 seconds or less, have something beneficial to satisfy the visitor’s search, are clean and well organized and not cluttered.
By following these few guidelines will help turn best intentions into web success.
The Web Success Team specializes in developing and marketing direct response websites that take full advantage of the latest developments on the Internet. The Team has an arsenal of effective web strategies, online marketing tools and proven customized social media techniques to promote your products and services. And we’ll show you ways to increase the amount of qualified traffic to your site.
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