The 12 Rules Of Creating And Maintaining A Killer Web Site
Teacher: Robert Pryce
Maintaining killer web sites is actually a lot easier than people think. We have all seen companies who relied solely on an online presence going to the wall in the last couple of years. This could have been reduced dramatically if a few simple steps had been taken.I have broken these down into 12 rules so that you can ensure that your visitor stays for longer and ultimately buys your product if you are selling one. We may never be able to get your site up to Ebay's extraordinary standard of stickiness where visitors stay for hours. We should be able to increase the amount of time people spend on your site substantially.
It is estimated you'll lose as many as 50% of your visitors after just 11 seconds.Many of the sites I have come across are slow loading because the Webmaster used graphics that were too big or weren’t optimized for the Internet. Consider using all text or mainly text on your site. Not only does this improve load time, but it also forces you to focus on what’s really important to your success, your content and your sales letters! So how do you do this. Simple really. You sit down with a watch in your hand and time how long it takes to download. If it takes more than 10 seconds, it is time to look at how you can reduce the time.
Big graphics slow down the length of time it takes for your page to download. Graphic sizes should be reduced so that images load quickly.If you are going to put banners on your site, try and avoid ones that take forever to download. As much as you may love the spinning graphics that you have created, it is more important that your visitor likes them and is not put off by them. If they don't like them, cheerio and off they pop to a different web site.
We have all heard the expression, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.Visitors that come to your site must know straight away what your site has to offer them.How many times have you come to a site where you couldn't figure what the site is about and got out of there equally as fast.
The way around this is to have a Headline on your site that pops up first when your visitor arrives at your site.There must be a benefit included in the Headline. Lets be honest, people care about themselves first and foremost. They want and need to know what is in it for them.
You must establish credibility as quickly as possible.Try and include some real like examples of people that have been in touch with you telling you how much they like your site. Make these testimonials verifiable (include full names, where they are from etc) Why do you want to do this ? The first time a person visits your website they don't know you from Adam.
Why should they believe what you have to say over anybody else.If your visitor can read what others have to say about your site they are more likely to believe you as they are a 3rd party. You will never be able to please everybody but you can certainly please most people.
It is amazing the amount of web sites out there selling products that hide behind PO addresses or worse will have no contact information at all. Yes, this does happen and on an all too frequent basis. If you want to build trust, give a variety of ways that people can contact you. Include your name, phone number, fax number, email address, company name, street address, city, zip code etc.
People want to know that there are real people behind the scenes who will answer their calls and emails. For example if you owned a bricks and mortar shop you would want people to know who you are. You would probably list in the Yellow Pages and advertise in other places. You are not going to leave out where you are located etc. It is exactly the same when you have an Internet presence.
Why would a visitor want to come back to your site again and again. The simple answer is content.Content is information that is of value to your visitor . Good content provides credibility. It establishes you as an expert. Try and stand out from then norm. If the content is of an outstanding nature your customer will return to your site. Try and include articles that are of interest to the visitor and update and include new articles on a regular basis.Give them something for free. People love the word free.
How many times have you entered a web site trying to search around looking for the information that they promised you would be able to find. Countless times I would presume.The top 3 surfer complaints are slow page downloads, broken links and trouble finding information.
There are many more but these are the critical ones.Make your visitors job as easy as possible when they are in your site.The trick to doing this is to find out what your customer wants and give it to them.They will be delighted that their experience on your web site is so enjoyable when compared to the other web sites they have visited..
The look and feel of your web site is really important to your visitor. The menus on your web pages must appear consist as well as visible. In other words on the same place on every single page.If you have long text on your page, it often makes sense to include links at the bottom of the page so a person knows where they are.
If you have a personal preference for your menu to appear on the left side then it should always appear there. Likewise if you want your menu to appear on the top of your page.You don't want your visitor to get lost whilst at at your site . this can lead to frustration and they will just zip off somewhere else.
Links are the mainstay of any website. Simply put you have to click on a link or an image to get around from one part of a site to another.Why should a person click on a link. Yet again you have to give them a reason. Try and include a benefit for them and include the words click here now after the benefit, not before it. Including it before defeats the whole purpose .They need to know what they are going to get by clicking on the link. Too often links are boring, use your imagination when creating them.
If you are selling a product, a strong guarantee can often be the difference between whether someone buys from you or not.Offer a strong guarantee, one that makes a person say "Wow, they must be confident!" If your selling a quality product, you must be able to back it up with a no frills guarantee.Make sure it is a 100% money back, iron clad guarantee, with no questions asked. Who would you go to ?A company with no guarantee or a company that stands behind their product 100%
Don't make it difficult for your visitors to order if you are selling a product.Always provide online secure server credit card processing as well as taking orders over the phone or by fax as well as postal orders/bankers draft. If you are selling more than one item, use a shopping cart, it increases sales.
The one exception to the rule of having your menu on every page is the order page. Considering that you want to close the sale, you don't want to give people the option of leaving the most important page on your site. You have worked so hard to get them to this page, don't let them leave now.
11.Colors And Text
Colors can greatly contribute to web sites.You can highlight certain text that you want to stand out.Ideally you should only use about 3 colors on a website or else it begins to enter the realms of overkill.Too many different colors make your text hard to read as well as making it look unprofessional.Keep your background lightly colored and use dark text (like black).
Be careful when using colors and bolding, especially when you are underlining. People, especially those new to the Internet, get frustrated and confused when they click on a word that looks like a link and it doesn’t take them anywhere. Notice that many of the top sites use primarily two fonts, Arial and Times New Roman. Why? Because they are easy to read.
Use bullets extensively on your web site. Not only do bullets
If you just put into operation 50% of the above points, you will see a dramatic increase in people returning to your site, enjoying the experience and ultimately buying your product. Even if you are not selling a product, you want people to stay and not leave the moment they arrive. Try it, give it a go and you will be amazed at the results.
About the teacher: