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The Top 8 Website Sins Part One

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They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Your website then is the window to your business. What would a passerby think of your "window"? What does your website say about you? About your business?

Does your website entice the visitor to pause and take a few moments to look around or does it confuse them so much they click past it without ever looking back.

The goal of your website is to make the visitor stay until the desired visitor respone has been achieved. That might be that they sign up for your newsletter, complete a survey or make a purchase. If surfer doesn't stay for more than a few moments then all your hard work is for nothing.

There are 8 key factors that can prevent people from staying on your site. In extreme cases the key areas below can actually drive traffic away from your site.

Sin #1

Provide Useful Content.

People search for information online. To find that information they use search engines. They type in keywords or phrases to locate items, places or information they require or desire. Google, Yahoo and MSN go through their indexes and present the searcher with the best possible match for their information request. The searcher clicks on the links and visits a few sites.

What happens if the searcher doesn't find relevant information once they get to the site? Yup they go right back to their previous search results and go elsewhere.

Provide useful content. Don't scam the search engines. Don't churn out another site made up of copied search engine results. Your website is your business. Treat it like one.

The two key rules for website content are:

1. Make it useful.

2. Make it easy to find on your site

Sin #2

Slow Loading Sites

If your site takes any longer than 30 seconds to load then the visitor is gone. Theywon't be back either.

Ideally your website should load in 15 seconds or less. Web surfers will not wait around for your fancy graphics or flash demos to load. They'll get bored and move on.

Do not use bitmap graphic files for logos or as part of your site design. They're ugly and take forever to load.

Ensure that every single GIF and JPEG is optimized for faster loading. If you don't understand how to optimize graphic files for your site ask somebody to do it for you. It can cut your site loading time by 50%.

Keep your site to 20% graphics and 80% text. Text loads faster and gives the web surfer something to read while your graphics are quickly loading in the background. Look at some of the most successful websites on the net - Google, Yahoo and Amazon. Graphically intensive? bsolutely not. These guys realize that every second they waste and visitor they lose is money out of their pocket.

Sin #3

Poor Layout

A visitor should be able to find what they need on your website in 3 clicks or less. Any more than that and you're losing valuable visitors and the potential income that involves.

Your navigation menu should be easy to use and every single link must work properly. Don't just assume that all your links work - check them yourself.

Use a sitemap on each and every one of your websites.

Do not use fancy mouse pointers - the type with the fancy trails.

Do not use complicated menu systems.

Text should be legible but not huge. Change your screen resolution to 640 x 480 and 800 x 600. How does your website look now?

Keep it simple. Imagine how a new Internet user would react to your website. Would they love it or hate it? Could a new visitor easily find the information they're looking for? If not then why not? Find the problems yourself and eliminate them in advance.

Sin #4

Awful Color Schemes

There's nothing worse then searching for hours for the information you need and then not be able to read it.

You've all been there. You click on the search result and that's when the pain starts. You've just arrived at a page with a light blue background and yellow text. Or maybe it's red text on a black background or white text on a gray background. You stare at the site in disbelief that anybody could ever have thought such a color scheme would actually work.

If you need guidance on how to choose colors for your website look at any magazine. Black or dark blue text on a white background is the simplest and most effective color scheme for text presentation.

For your menus and other background colors bear the following in mind:

Red is stimulating and agressive.

Blue is peaceful and tranquil.

Green is calm and refreshing.

Yellow grabs peoples attention.

Purple is wealthy and luxurious.

Brown is solid and reliable.

Orange is bright and optimistic.

The colors you choose for your website can have a direct impact on how people react to your content or message. It can either attract them or repel them. The choice is yours.

Continued in part 2 of The Top 8 Website Sins.

This article was provided courtesy of Affiliate-Advocate.com where you'll find ton of information on online affiliate marketing


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