If your web site visitor can't find the information on your web
site, within 10 seconds or less, you will lose them. Two of the
largest factors that contribute to this, are the lack of clear
purpose and poor layout of your web pages.
Let's look at how you can resolve each of these issues.
Lack of clear purpose – the first page of your web site must
have a clear title and description, which immediately states
what your site is about. (if you need help to determine the
purpose of web site, read: "How To Build A Web Site That Sells"
You must include a clear benefit of your product or service in
your description. For example if you are a web design company,
your title may be "How to Build a Web Site That Sells". Your
description may be something like: "Let us save you precious
time and hassles, by designing a professional web site that WILL
sell your product or service".
In this example, you have stated the clear purpose of your web
site (designing professional web sites that sell) and given your
readers a clear benefit (saving time and hassles).
The rest of your web page, should support the title and
description of your web site. Continue to emphasize the benefits
of your product to your visitors. You should conclude your copy
with a call to action eg "click here to order".
Layout of Your Copy – you may spend a lot of time and money, to
attract visitors to your web site, but if you have a poorly
designed web page, then visitors will become frustrated and
1. Alignment – There are 3 kinds of alignment for your web page
– left side, right side and centered. Choose one, then use it on
the entire page or even throughout your other web pages. Don't
try to mix alignments, because this will make your web page look
One such example, is to align all the text on your page to the
left. This will create a strong edge and make it easier for your
visitors to navigate and read. Avoid bumping up your text to the
navigation bar or graphics. Create an equal amount of space
between all the elements on your page. If they are bunched up,
it will create a cluttered appearance.
2. How To Use White Space – Visitors do not appreciate useless
clutter and masses of content on Web Pages. Most users prefer a
page with well distributed content resulting in less clutter.
Users quickly scan pages and the more that they must scan
through, the more information they will miss.
This does not mean you should not provide a lot of information.
Just do not provide it all on one page. Each page should contain
approximately 50 per cent less text than a printed version of
the same information.
If you have a lot of copy on your web site, try to have only 4-6
sentences per paragraph. Split the page up into different
topics, with the subject title close to the accompanying text.
3. Repetition – each page of your web site should look like it
belongs to the same web site, the same company and same concept.
For example, navigation buttons, colors, style, illustrations,
format, layout can all be part of the repetition that unifies
the entire site.
4. Contrast – this is what draws you into the page and pulls you
in. Pages that just have all text and no graphics, or vice versa
and have no contrast can be very boring (unless it is an article
or book). If elements on your page, such as type, rules,
graphics, color, texture, are not the same, make them very
Be aware of what you want the visitor to focus on. What will be
the first thing that a person will be attracted to when that
person first enters your site? If your site is not well
organized, it will be difficult for your visitor to find what he
is looking for.
5. Graphics – graphics should be used to illustrate the benefit
of your product (this is why there is the popular saying, "a
picture is worth a thousand words"). You should use them to
enhance the experience of your visitor. If it does not have a
clear purpose to be there (other than just to have a pretty
picture on your site), don't use it.
6. Spelling and Grammar – bad spelling and grammar can destroy
the professional effect of your web site. Don't just use the
spell checker for correcting your copy. Read through it yourself
several times or get a friend who is a proficient proof reader
to check your work, before you launch your site for the world to
With a clear purpose and layout to your web pages, your visitors
will easily find the information they are seeking, rather than
your competitors. Doing this, will help to increase sales from
your web site.
About the author:
Herman Drost is a Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) owner and
author of iSiteBuild.com Free Consultation for Site Design
Hosting from $30/year http://www.isitebuild.com)