Your website's navigation ability is extremely important to your
success online. Your visitors will only turn into paying
customers if your site is easy and fun to navigate.
Believe me, you want your visitors to stay as long as possible.
This is the only way your site is going to succeed. Your site
must be interesting, persuading, and easy to navigate.
First let me tell you a couple of misconceptions about how to
1. Many people assume that because the internet is so "big" and
covers such a vast amount of areas around the world, their
website has to be everything to everybody. They design their
website for "everybody" in the world and never have a distinct
purpose. No purpose and no direction results in no sales! That's
a profound statement but so true.
How many websites have you visited that had no purpose, no
direction, and no real valuable information that you stayed and
surfed around the site a while?
You click to that site only to find twenty links that are all
non related to the site's description nor to each other. A link
to the left takes you to a computer store online while a link to
the right takes you to a sports website. Five banners straight
down the middle of the homepage all going in five different
directions. No direction or purpose whatsoever. Even if that
company did offer what you were looking for, you probably would
not consider that company as an expert or even trustworthy after
one glance at the website, would you?
2. The second misconception is that selling on the web is
different or easier than selling off line. I know from
experience that sales is sales is sales. Even if your business
is on the web, you still must take the same steps to gain a
customer's trust as you do off line. Your product will not sell
itself, just like your website will not promote itself. You must
take the necessary steps to promote your site as well as give a
persuading presentation once the visitor arrives.
Now that you know a couple of the most common misconceptions on
the web, you can move forward with designing your website with
these in mind. Don't worry, if you've already designed your
website for "everybody", it's not too late to focus in on your
sole purpose. It's far less painful to design your website with
your one purpose in mind from the beginning -- and less costly.
Below are 3 important steps you can take while designing your
website to insure navigation ease for your visitors:
1. Place your "appealing headline" below any banner or logo at
the top of the page. This is the headline that persuades your
visitor to continue reading your homepage -- to spark their
interest in your product or service. Write your headline to your
target customer. The visitor should have no doubt about what
kind of website he/she just entered.
If your purpose is to sell books, your headline should say
something about books or a particular book that's very popular.
This will insure your "targeted" potential customers that they
are at the right site for what they're searching for. Visitors
who aren't looking for books really aren't your customers, are
they? You're letting them know up front that they're in the
The reason for placing your headline below your logo or banner
is because people tend to look at the "picture" first and then
begin reading below the picture.
2. Place a scroll bar or navigation bar at the right hand or
left hand side of your homepage. A general rule of thumb is to
place your scroll bar on the left hand side if your website is
information based and you offer just one to three products.
Place your scroll bar on the right hand side if your website is
set up like a catalog offering many different products.
The scroll bar provides your visitor with options to move around
within your website without crowding the homepage. Your homepage
should be an introduction to your website or your product or
service, not your entire website. The information should be
intriguing to your "target" visitor and lead the visitor to the
next page or to your desired response at the bottom of the
3. Continue your homepage. Write to your visitor in a way that
he/she can't wait to go to the next page and continue. But don't
stop there -- when your visitor gets to the bottom, be sure to
say "Go to the Next Page Here..." or "Continue to Next Page...",
something to persuade your visitor to go the next page. The ...
always leaves a sense of continuance also!
Implement these three methods while designing your homepage to
insure navigation ability for your visitors. Remember, your
visitors can only turn into paying customers if you get a chance
to make your presentation.
About the author:
Candice Pardue, webmaster of Online Success for Internet
Business. Ever thought of designing your own website? Now you
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