There’s a great interest among the Internet entrepreneurs about
how to promote their business on the Web. There’s always a quest
for new and innovative ways of promotion that promise greater
results at lower cost and in shorter time. Yet with all the
efforts spent on promotion it’s just amazing how many people
totally ignore one basic question- is their website is worth of
promoting it? With new computer technologies and high speed
connections the new age on the Internet has arrived- the age
that redefined the criteria of a successful web site, which
satisfies demands of its visitors.
Content is the king.
That was the mantra of all web masters for a long time. Just
show your visitors some interesting stuff, give them a better
deal – and your success is guaranteed. The truth is – it doesn’t
work that way. The content alone cannot win you the hearts and
minds of your potential customers. It’s just a part - thought a
very important one- of building your image on the Internet. You
can say whatever you want about yourself on your web site: that
your company provides the best services, the best expertise, the
best…. whatever. But people won’t buy it until you LOOK right to
them. That is you look trustworthy and professional enough to
believe you. And that’s the point where we come to the
importance of keeping your web site up to your customers’
Numbers don’t lie
Your web site might not have changed for several years. But the
Internet has been changing. The latest surveys show that
people's online expectations have skyrocketed over the last few
years and they're quick to reject any web site that doesn't keep
up. Besides easy navigation and use, people want and expect a
site to load quickly and to be visually appealing. If a web site
doesn't meet their expectations, two-thirds of respondents say
they don't return — now or ever. They'll visit you and leave and
you'll never know. What it means? Having a bad web site means
loosing customers- plain and simple. When people see your web
site in bad shape they assume that you ever don’t care about
your image or don’t have money and resources to maintain it.
What is an effective web site?
A good web site should provide your visitors and potential
clients with a unique experience and leave them with a lasting
impression. In many ways people react to that the same way as
meeting a person. Sometimes the first impression makes all the
difference. Ask yourself- would you place an order via a web
site that looks like its owners went out of business years ago?
I guess you’ll think twice before doing that…
It takes a lot of things to make a web site effective but here
are some basics:
First a good design. Nice clean layout, good graphics work,
color coordination. Everything is supposed to be in place and,
no less important, in balance. Your visitors should be able to
see the theme of your site, quickly identify its purpose and be
enticed to stick around to find more about your company.
Your web site should also be informative. But don’t think that
more information is better. The word “informative” in that sense
implies more “educational” than “descriptive”. Educate your
target audience about your company and its services- show them
that you know about their problems and can offer an effective
solution. Make your content easy to read and understandable.
Don’t overload your visitors with technical details or they
won’t read it at all.
Another important thing is navigation. Make it easy to
understand. Some people get too fancy with that, which makes
even experienced web surfers wonder how to get around their web
site. Keep it simple and your web site’s structure logical- so
the visitors can easily go from A to B and access information
Download time is also very important. As a general rule you have
to make your web site load as fast as possible or your visitors
will get tired and go somewhere else. However, it doesn’t mean
that your web site should be “graphics- depleted” or lack
interactive features. To apply this rule correctly you should
know your audience first. Ask yourself: if the majority of your
visitors have broadband? Are they using current technologies? If
they are, they may be looking for a richer online experience
with high quality images, Flash animations, and multimedia
There are a lot of other issues that you have to keep in mind
like browser compatibility, and, of course, search engine
optimization – but we won’t cover them right now.
What you can do to make your web site better.
1.Give your website a critical eye. Encourage your visitors to
send you their comments and suggestions (at least you’ll show
that you care) Ask them what they value most. Compare your site
to the web sites of your competitors.
2.Analyze the results. See what most people do and don’t like
about your web site. Think about how to enhance your strong
points and to eliminate your deficiencies.
3.Find the solution. If you can improve your web site yourself-
great! But don’t overestimate your abilities. If you want an
attractive, well designed site that stands out go to
professionals- the people with experience and special knowledge
in this field. Let them do that work while you can concentrate
on the most important thing –running your business.
4. If you decided to seek professional help, don’t hurry and use
your God given gift of common sense. Shop around, but don’t
necessary go for the lowest price. Price is a big factor, but
not the only one. You don’t want to end up with a cheap web site
that you’ll have to change again rather sooner than later.
Before striking a deal, do your homework. Do your best to find
out more about the web design company/ designer that you’ll work
with. First of all visit their web site- if you’re not
impressed, go away. If they can’t do it right for themselves-
how they can do it right for you? Second, ask them to show their
portfolio- see what they can do for their clients. Third, don’t
be shy to ask for references. See if they work closely with
clients and respond well to their requests.
And always remember- your website is the face of your company.
Leaving it in bad shape can really damage your image and turn
away many of perspective customers.
About the author:
Serge Gusarov is the founder of 1webimage.com- a web design and
development company. He has experience in developing award
winning web sites for companies in many industries. For more
information and a free web site evaluation please visit
www.1webimage.com Serge can be reached via email: