How To Optimizing Your Web Page

Meta tags are not a magic solution. Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted into the header on a web page, after the title tag. Meta tags are contained in the HEAD section near the top of the page. Meta tags are HTML tags that help you control how some search engines may index your site, by using the keywords and descriptions you provide. A good question to ask is if meta tags are still necessary. Meta tags are useful in getting better listings in the search engines. The title, keyword and description meta tags are standard HTML tags and should be placed within the HEAD section of a Web page.

Some believe that HTML meta tags will bring you to the top of the search engine rankings. Many vendors of software that generates HTML will make use of their own custom Meta Tags to identify different pieces of information about the document. You can define your own search fields with HTML meta tags. While many search engines are placing more and more emphasis on the keywords used on your actual HTML page, some are still looking at your meta tags.

Everyone knows that to obtain high search engine rankings all you have to do is put the keywords that you want to rank high with into your meta tags, right. You know that keywords should go into your HTML title and meta tags, but did you know that you also need to place them in heading tags. The description meta tag explains your site’s content and data, giving the search engines’ robots and spiders a brief summary of your site. Use the keywords in the META tags in your ALT image description for a boost in some search engines. Being specific and accurate are the ingredients to success with keywords. At the present time, most search services extract keywords from the page text, but some services may use the keywords meta tag. It’s important not to repeat words in the description or keywords meta tags; Meta is not the only way to have your site seen by search engines. Keywords may be separated by a space or a comma or a comma followed by a space. Never, repeat the same word over and over in any single one of those places.

The meta description tag describes your site’s content, giving search engines’ spiders an accurate summary filled with multiple keywords. In search engine listings you see a title and a short description. Titles and Description tags are the most important meta-tags that search engines consider to determine relevancy. Try to always include your keywords within the description tags, if you can put the keywords near the beginning of the meta tag. We recommend keeping your description tag to 170 characters or less. Some services obtain descriptions from the text of the page, while other services use descriptions given in description meta tags. Just a few years ago, good META description and keyword tags were a ticket to success for many sites and many spammers. The Keyword and Description Meta Tags are the two principle META tags that search engines look for when indexing your website. The keyword, title, description tags, have been abused by many seo gurus, because of this many search engines do not pay attention to the meta tags.

Meta tags are used to provide structured data about data, similar in many ways to the information provided in traditional library catalogue records. Meta Tags are most commonly used to distinguish the keywords that are relevant to a page’s content. The robots meta tags are used and respected by all major search engine robots. META Tags are still important today.

Mistakes in Web Design Avoid These Design Mistakes

Mistakes in Web Design Avoid These Design Mistakes That Will Shy Viewers Away

When creating your Website there are many things to think about, but lets not forget the basics. This includes your primary design plan or rather the first colors, background and words the visitor sees. Discussed below are ways to successfully execute those three components.

Color Scheme

If you already have a company logo with designated colors, use those and continue the theme. Otherwise choose two to three colors for use on your Website. Stick with these colors and use them on every page. Once you assign a pattern to those colors stay consistent on each page. Example: White background, blue writing and orange bordering. Pull out or download a color wheel. This will help you choose colors that naturally accent one another. You want to catch your viewers’ eye so shy away from dark colors on top of dark colors.

Most commonly used color schemes:

~Red, yellow and white
~Blue and white
~Red, grey and white
~Blue, orange and white
~Yellow, grey and white
~Onion shade, Tan, white

Page Background

The most common mistake here is having a dark background with dark writing or white background with yellow or light pink writing. This is very strenuous to the viewers’ eyes. White backgrounds are used most often and are safe with darker writing. If you have a pattern as your page background, make sure the colors stand out from all the background patterns colors, if not done in black and white. Be sure that your hyperlink doesn’t blend before or after it has been clicked. Links most commonly appear blue before clicked and burgundy after.

Grammar and Spelling

We’re all aware of the spelling and grammar tool on our computers, but sometimes they don’t catch everything. It’s helpful to print the page out and review it from a hard copy. The eye sometimes catches mistakes it may not have seen on the computer screen. Have a peer look over your work – this will help in finding mistakes. Watch out for grammatical and punctuation mistakes your computer may not pick up on. Ex: your, you’re, there, their, its, it’s, viewers’, viewer’s and some time, sometimes.

Think simple with these three components. Complex colors, backgrounds, or words will lead your viewer away. Be inviting to your audience by making your site ‘easy on the eyes.’ Don’t forget to proofread – and remember that two heads are better than one.

Fixed Font Size
CSS style sheets unfortunately give websites the power to disable a Web browser’s “change font size” button and specify a fixed font size. About 95% of the time, this fixed size is tiny , reducing readability significantly for most people over the age of 40.

Respect the user’s preferences and let them resize text as needed. Also, specify font sizes in relative terms — not as an absolute number of pixels

Violating Design Conventions
Consistency is one of the most powerful usability principles: when things always behave the same, users don’t have to worry about what will happen. Instead, they know what will happen based on earlier experience. Every time you release an apple over Sir Isaac Newton, it will drop on his head. That’s good.

The more users’ expectations prove right, the more they will feel in control of the system and the more they will like it. And the more the system breaks users’ expectations, the more they will feel insecure. Oops, maybe if I let go of this apple, it will turn into a tomato and jump a mile into the sky.

Benefits Of An Accessible Website- Increase In Reach

Benefits Of An Accessible Website- Increase In Reach

The DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) states that service providers must not discriminate against disabled people. A website is regarded as a service and therefore falls under this law, and as such must be made accessible to everyone.

Some organisations are making accessibility improvements to their websites, but many are seemingly not making the accessibility adjustments. Disabled people don’t access their website, they say, so why should they care?

Why you should care about disabled Internet users

The statistics on the number of users who may face difficulties due to your website’s accessibility are quite startling:

  • There are 8.6 million registered disabled people in the UK – 14% of the population (source: DRC)
  • One in 12 men and one in 200 women have some form of colour blindness – 9% of the UK population (source: Institution of Electrical Engineers)
  • Two million UK residents have a sight problem – 4% of the population (source: RNIB)
  • There are 12 million people aged 60 or over – 21% of the UK population (source: UK government)

Although there is inevitably some overlap between the aforementioned groups, adding up these numbers provides a total of 48% of the UK population that could potentially face problems with your website’s accessibility. That’s an extraordinarily high number.

It’s not just disabled users who can’t access your website

Non-disabled people may also experience difficulties with your website’s accessibility. Not everyone is viewing your website on the latest version of Internet Explorer, with all the plug-ins and programs that you may require them to have for optimal access.

If your website relies on images, Flash or JavaScript, and fails to provide alternatives, then your website won’t be accessible to a number of web users. The following examples are a common occurrence:

  • Users on slow connections regularly turn images off to enable a quicker download time. Some browsers, such as the text-only Lynx browser do not display images at all.
  • Not every user has downloaded the latest Flash program that’s needed to access your site. Additionally, the download time on Flash websites often takes so long that users lose patience and don’t even wait to see the content. Just 25% of web users in the UK are connected to the Internet via broadband (source: National Statistics).
  • JavaScript is a scripting language that can cause changes to a page, often through mouse functions, buttons, or other actions from the user. For example, pop-ups are opened using JavaScript. JavaScript is unsupported by about 5% of web users, either because they have turned it off to prevent pop-up adverts or because their browser doesn’t support it (source: The Counter). Any JavaScript-driven content provided on your website won’t be accessible to these users.
  • PDAs, mobile phones and WebTV have limited support for large images, Flash and JavaScript. You can test your website by downloading the free WebTV viewer. You can also check how your website looks on a mobile phone with the Wapalizer. Don’t underestimate the importance of this: in 2008 alone an estimated 58 million PDAs will be sold (source: eTForecast) and one third of the world’s population will own a wireless device (source: ClickZ)
Quality Website Design and Development

Quality Website Design and Development

There’s two ways to get a website developed – pay, or design it yourself. If you’ve chosen the latter, you’ll need several things. First, you’ll need web hosting. Web hosting can range from $2 to $200 per month, depending on your needs. Consult a web hosting review site for more information. Next, you’ll have to have some background in computing or internet programming. You’ll need to know at least HTML. Thirdly, you’ll have to have a way to upload your files. Some hosts have online uploads, others require FTP.

Today’s web design encompasses many different technologies that must blend seamlessly to allow for the best combination of form and function in a site. If you’ve decided to design your first website, it can be a daunting task. Rather, most professionals suggest finding a low-cost alternative. Many web developers have a forte – either design or programming. Finding a well-rounded website design firm or individual is difficult, but the business’ portfolio is the best indication.

website design company that offers a wide range of Website Design solutions specializing in construction of quality websites for today’s challenging internet market. We specialize in custom quality web design, web development, search engine optimization and ecommerce websites.By providing a full range of website design services including custom web design from a simple web page to the complex internet solutions including content management systems, portals, ecommerce websites setup and SEO. Our web design team will deign you a fully functioning website that enhances your business that will improve customer awareness of your products and services.

Whether you are developing your existing website or considering developing a brand new website designed to deliver genuine business benefits Suncoast Internet can manage and implement the entire project, the end result of which is an effective, fast-loading, easy-to-use quality web design that will yield results.

How to Optimize WebSite Navigation

How to Optimize WebSite Navigation

Make no mistake. the most impressive looking and product rich web site will fail to convert visitors into paying customers if they are unable to more quickly and easily find what they are looking for, that is, proper web site navigation. There’s a lot of competition out there. Develop and design a web site that’s easy to understand and use, and you’ll attract more than your fair share of visitors – visitors that will return, and buy, again and again. Fail in this, and the only one’s smiling will

How do we accomplish this? By utilizing intuitive navigation techniques. Use them in the development and design of your web site; then sit back as hordes of satisfied customers return to your internet business on a regular basis. And you’ll find when marketing online, return business is your key to significant and effortless profits.

Ok, so what exactly is intuitive navigation – and how do we design it into our web site? I can tell you what it’s not. It is not flashy, creative designs that entertain and distinguish you from the other ‘dull’ web sites out there. Simply defined, intuitive navigation implements a familiar and consistent look and feel across all the design elements of your web site. These elements include;

GOOGLE ADSENSE MENU:

Your website menu – the table of contents if you will – that directs visitors throughout the various pages of your site should be consistent, and included on every page. Websites that contain a menu on the home page only or certain select pages on the web site (and I’ve seen far too many of these), force visitors to use the Back button (or click on the logo to return to the home page). The common result, visitors do more clicking and visitors get lost. And visitors who get lost… well, ‘get lost’.

And for Pete’s sake, keep your menu style and placement consistent from page to page. Again, fancy and different equals confusion. Confusion equals frustration. And frustration equals ‘no sale’.

Site map:

Another useful website element, and one that’s missing in many business web sites, the site map is a web page that contains a hierarchical, top-down, organized list of all the sections, or pages, on your website. It’s a road map through your web labyrinth, which can get you where you want to go more directly, that is, quicker (especially to access links). It can also make up for any design ‘sins’ on your menu. And for many left brainers, like myself, it is sometimes the preferred route.

Subtitle index:

For those large pages on your web site, which require page scrolling, it is preferable to include subtitles in your copy, for readability. Repeating these subtitles at the top of your page, linked to the subtitle in the copy, makes it easier for visitors to access or return to those sections of the copy that most interest them.

Back to top link:

Again, for large pages on your web site, having ‘Back to top’ links, between subtitles, or at the very least the bottom of your page’s copy, allows visitors to return to the top of your web page with one click, without the need to scroll.

Text links:

Whether it’s a menu item or other link throughout your web site, the use of simple and efficient text links is the preferred navigation method in most instances.

Yes, there’s an overabundance of fancy and impressive buttons, graphics and rollovers available for navigating your web site. However, this is an area where it is mindful to employ the well-known K.I.S.S. method for keeping things simple. Text links are much faster loading than images. Now, for fast broadband internet access, the difference between text and image load may be negligible. However, there are still many potential customers out there still surfing on slow connections. For them, the difference can be significant. So, until we are all on the same connection page, you would do well to accommodate all visitors.

In addition, text navigation menus can contribute relevant text for the search engines, which image navigation bars cannot. And of course, text is often easier than an image for understanding the purpose of the link. Just remember – on the web, and for your internet business, it is always preferable to err on the side of efficiency over impressiveness.

Page Footer Menu:

Ok, we have our menu items at the top (or side) of all our web pages. So, why would we want to repeat them at the bottom of every page? Well, in addition to providing your visitors with just another, alternative, option for navigating your website, there are two instances when placing your menu on your page footer is more an essential, than a ‘nice to have’.

(1) If you insist on using graphics for your main menu items, the inclusion of a text menu on the page footer aids both reader viewability and understanding, and ensures that search engine spiders can see you.

(2) Placing your menu on a frame is an easy way to ensure that your menu items stay fixed and in sight, even as you’re scrolling through a long web page. However, although there are many advantages to using frames on your web site, there are disadvantages as well. Although more detail on the pros and cons is fodder for another article, let’s just say there are many web sites that prefer not to use frames. In such instances, scrolling down a long page will also scroll your menu items, sometimes out of sight. A page footer menu provides a convenient way to access these items without the necessity for scrolling back up the page.

Containing an abundance of particulars, a context-rich web site can be a dense, confusing and intimidating jungle of information for internet visitors. However, by using time-tested intuitive navigation techniques, you can turn potential chaos (and lost customers) into a smooth and pleasant ride across the web superhighway.

How to choose a web design company

On the Internet today, there are many people who call themselves web designers and web design companies. Some people do it for fun, as a hobby or part-time. Web designers that design full-time are the way to go.. Someone who does web design in their part-time tends not to take it as seriously as someone who does it for a living. There are also people who do web design, who have no formal training. Make sure your web designer has some formal training from a recognized school. People who are self taught, although I applaud them for doing it, have relied on the Internet for all their information, and as you know information on the Internet can be inaccurate.

Relevant Experience

The web design company you choose for your project should have relevant experience. If you would like them to design a e-commerce website, it is best to choose a web designer who has e-commerce websites in their portfolio. Your web design company should be ready to submit a proposal for your website project along with a contract. Beware of companies who don’t give you a formal contract. The contract should outline exactly what the web designer will do and how long it will take, the price, and what you have agreed to supply. A formal contract is the best way to avoid disagreements between the web designer and you. Make sure your contract outlines every possible problem that can happen.

Different types of websites

There are different types of websites such as: static HTML (brochure type), e-commerce (with a shopping cart), database, Flash and a website with your own content management system. All of these must come into perspective when you are looking for a web design company. For example if you are looking for a fully interactive Flash website you better make sure that the web design company you choose has done many Flash websites. There is a difference between companies who can do Flash headers for a standard HTML site and web designers who can create a full flash website. Your best bet when choosing a web design company is to have a face to face meeting when discussing what it is you would like to have your website look like , also some sketches and some addresses of websites that you like. This gives the web design company the chance to fully understand what you are looking for and a better chance to give you an accurate proposal.

Things to take into consideration

Does the web design company have an update package? You must know that after your website has been created, from time to time you will require updates. Maybe they will be small maybe not. If the web design company you are choosing does not have an update package, you should inquire about the price of updates after the initial design. You should take the price of updates into consideration before you begin the design process. Make sure the web design company or web designer you choose sets realistic goals for the timeline. Usually if it sounds too good to be true then it is.

Many web designers have their own personal style. For example my personal style is clean and bright colors. Some web design companies love Flash and always build Flash websites. This would not be ideal if you are looking for an extremely search engine friendly website.

You would also have to consider guarantees. Does your potential web design company offer a guarantee? Most web design companies do not. So when you find one who does, you can know that they feel very confident in their capabilities. Another thing to consider is: Does the web design company display a phone number that they can be contacted at. Sometimes as a client you would like to speak with someone, not just get a reply to an e-mail the next day.

How to a find a web design company

There are a few ways to find web design companies in your area. One way is to search the web for: “Vancouver web design” or “Sarasota Web design”, obviously depending on the city closest to you. You could also search the Yellow pages for web design companies. Most web design companies who can afford to advertise there have already built a pretty go reputation and have been in business for a while.
Another option is search the web and when you see a website you really like, check for a link on the bottom of the page or on a contact page.

Hiring a Web Design Firm vs. Freelance Designer

A web site is more than just a tool for business. It’s part of your “brand” image, your storefront and a measure of your professionalism. A good web site is navigable, provides easy access to goods, services or information and effectively serves the purposes of it’s owner or owners. As you might imagine, developing sites that meet these criteria is no easy task. While there are thousands of freelance web designers available to choose from, few of them have the experience and skill necessary to tailor a site to fit an individuals specific needs.
Many business owners simply use price as a comparison point, which somewhat favors freelance individuals. Those who are savvy enough to ask for a portfolio of multiple sites, however, usually decide to go with a firm after doing so. It’s important to understand that the development of one or two sites is little indication of the ability to know and be able to construct a site that is beneficial for your business.

The benefit of going with a firm as opposed to a freelance individual is simple. Firms usually have specialists who work on the a particular part of your web site. The person creating your layout isn’t likely to be the person working on HTML or scripting. When specialists handle individual aspects of a project, those aspects get more individualized attention. Still, unless a web design firm has a fluid production protocol between departments, delays can occur. Looking at a portfolio won’t indicate the amount of time or cost overruns that occurred when developing a site. When assembling bids from various firms, it’s important to remember to ask for at least a relative time frame for completion so that you can have an idea of when the work will be done.

In the grand scheme of things, firms can offer business owners more experience and greater attention to detail than most freelance individuals can. Your business is unlike any other and deserves a team of professionals dedicated to making the most of your web site. While a freelance individual may be adept at building one type of site, who’s to say it’s the right type of site for what you have to offer?

7 Tips to Avoid Losing Money on Your Web Site Design

More than 90% of new sites fail. That is why web hosts charge so little – they can make enough from the failures to pay for services to the few who actually make good use of their web site. A fisherman knows better than to fish in the bathtub, but does your web site design show the same intelligence?

Web site design to hook a customer is very like fishing. Try these seven tips to make money.

Step 1. Research

What – you don’t think a fisherman starts with research? How does he know not to fish in the bathtub? How does he know not to fish for dorado in USA? How does he know that his favorite lemon meringue pie on a sardine hook won’t catch sharks?

Imagine you’ve invented a 100% cure for Paraguayan piques. You pay a graphic designer to make your web site design. After a year you still haven’t been able to make money. Your host tells you that the few visitors that you had only stayed for ten seconds.

Research would have told you that
*Your prospects speak Guaraní not English
*Most of them can’t read Guaraní
*Even fewer speak English
*Most of them don’t have computers

A little research at Overture would have told you that only 3791 people looked for pique in a month, but most of them were interested in polo, not in an insect. Does your potion kill Jiggers? 1432 people searched on that word, and they were mostly North Americans. Perhaps you could make money from them?

If your web site design could inspire 10% of these searchers to visit your sales page and 10% of these bought from you that would give you 14 clients per month. Would that make money enough to pay for your web site design? You’ve been fishing in your bathtub!

Step 2 Preparation

As a fisherman you’ve discovered what fish are in your area, what will attract them to where you are, and found a spot where you won’t get your line tangled up with other fisherman’s lines.

My research for this article showed that ‘web site’ had half a million searches but people could be totally uninterested in web site design. ‘Web site design’ had only a third of a million searches, but readers were more targeted. There were 239 advertisers on Overture, which shows that it is popular, and there are only 24 million competitors.

‘Build a website’ had less than 50 thousand searchers, but 337 million competitors. Ouch! I think my lines would get tangled!

So the rule is: find what people want then design your web site with pages filled with the information that they want. If nobody is interested in your subject, advertise offline or find another subject for your web site design.

Step 3 Get crowds

You sprinkle oatmeal soaked in your secret ingredient on the water, and soon fish are following the scent back to where you are.

Your first task is to make your web site design attractive to visitors.

Tuna fishermen throw un-baited hooks into the mass of fish and pull them out in a sort of rhythm. The hook, which has no barb, snags a fish which falls off into the hold, and the hook is thrown out again, with the whole process taking a few seconds.

Google Adsense is excellent to make money from this kind of web site design.

Step 4 Research

But that was in step 1 you object? Your research should never end. Talk to the other fishermen. Visit fishermen’s forums. Search Google for information. Your oatmeal has attracted fish, but when you put it on the hook it washes off.

You must find what bait will stay on the hook long enough for hungry fish to bite. This will vary from season to season. Experiment and record your results.

Research for your web site design should never stop. Try different ideas to make money and record your results.

Step 5 Pre-sell

OK. Your fish are crowding round you. Your bait has some colorful feathers disguising the hook. You want to persuade the fish that your bait is more attractive than the scraps of oatmeal.

Your web site design should start to describe your experience with whatever it is that you are selling to make money. You should try to communicate in all your web site design just how interesting you find what you are offering.

Step 6 Arouse Enthusiasm

Keep pulling your bait through the water so that fish will think

*I’d better act while the food is there!
*It’s heading towards the other fish. I’d better be quick!
*I may get a better offer, but what if I don’t?

If your web site design is aimed at affiliate income, don’t try to sell yet. You strike only after the bait is in the fish’s mouth. Let the vendor handle the last step.

Step 7 Hook Them

Once the fish has the bait in it’s mouth you strike to drive the barbs home, then the fish can’t leave go. Then you pull the fish in, and eat it.

Oops! I’m not advocating cannibalism! Once your web site design has hooked a customer the same rules no longer apply.

Bonus Tip

To succeed, your web site design must have ways to keep your customers so happy that they will keep coming back again and again.

Your web site design must obviously have a contact page. You should have a frequently asked questions page. You should offer further sales of related products to make money for you. If you eat your client you won’t have her returning again and again.

Common Mistakes of Website Design

Summary:
Huge Mistake #1: Creating a Website with Flash — Did you know in a recent study, top internet marketers discovered that having a website created with Flash, actually decreased the response from prospects and customers by as much as 370 percent?

Huge Mistake #1: Creating a Website with Flash

Did you know in a recent study, top internet marketers discovered that having a website created with Flash, actually decreased the response from prospects and customers by as much as 370 percent?

Here’s why: Your prospects and customers are most likely visiting your website using all types of different computers, connection speeds and internet configuration settings…

What may look great to one visitor may not even appear for another! You could very easily have shelled out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to have a website created using the Flash technology, only to find out that some of your visitors will never see it! (Not to mention the loading times can cause your visitor to close your site, never to return again.)

Huge Mistake #2: The “Internet Catalog” Approach

You see this everywhere. Good, honest and hardworking businessmen and women get online to sell their products or services, and have a site created for them that contains a link to just about everything they offer on one page. Their thinking goes along the lines of, “…well, I don’t want to leave anyone out. If they come to my site, I want to make sure I have what they’re looking for…” — This way of thinking could not be further from the truth.

Here’s why: There’s an ancient rule that goes back to the very beginning of direct-marketing on the internet, taught by the richest, most legendary and well-respected internet marketers of all time…

“When you give your prospects too many choices, they become confused and aren’t sure what to do next. Confused people never buy anything.”

Huge Mistake #3: Optimizing Your Sales Site for the Search Engines

You’ll see this taught in nearly every “internet marketing” course, manual or eBook out there… “You must optimize every page of your website for the search engines!” — In fact, this false teaching is accepted as ‘gospel truth’ so often that most web designers will offer to do this for you at no, or little extra cost…

What they don’t understand is that certain words and phrases must be either re-worded (to make it “keyword rich”) or taken out completely, just to be looked upon highly by the mighty search engines — and this could kill your sales, literally overnight.

Here’s why: When you or a hired web designer optimize your sales page (i.e. any web page designed to sell your products and services) to get a higher listing in the search engines, you’re going to have to sacrifice the pulling-power of your sales copy (i.e. written sales material) just to get those higher listings. Sure, this can bring you more traffic — but what good is all the traffic in the world, if your visitors arrive at your website and aren’t compelled enough to read why they should order your product?

For years, it has been taught that you should always try to find a “balance” of SEO (Search-Engine-Optimization) mixed with promotional copy designed to sell your products and services…

Wrong Again! — The truth is that you should never optimize your sales page for the Search Engines. Instead, you should create tiny “entry pages” for each keyword related to your product or service, (highly optimized for the Search Engines) and have them link to your main sales site! (We can show you exactly how to do this quickly and easily and get massive targeted traffic from the Search Engines – without ever touching your sales site!)

Huge Mistake #4: Having a “Graphics-Based” Website

Sure, graphics can certainly help us to visualize a particular situation or circumstance, product or service… But did you know that having a graphically-driven website can actually distract your visitor away from your sales message?

After all, your sales message (or “web copy”) is The #-1 most important factor in a website that makes money. If your visitors are paying more attention to your “professional graphics” than your sales message… you’ve just lost another sale.

Here’s why: You’ve got approximately seven seconds from the time your visitor arrives at your site, to the time they decide whether to buy your product, get more information or leave. If you’ve got a graphically-intensive website, your website will most likely still be loading past your seven-second time limit.

That’s a “customer-killer” in and of itself – however, the real reason lies within the fact that the bigger, brighter and more beautiful your graphics are, the more they will distract your visitor from your sales message. And if your visitor is distracted even for one second, it could mean the difference between getting a sale, and losing a customer.

Huge Mistake #5: Designing a Website with Zero Marketing Experience

Most web designers have no idea how to make money on the internet, with anything other than their design services. It’s not their fault – they simply have no or very little marketing and sales experience. After all, they’re just website designers…

However, having your website designed by someone with Zero internet marketing experience is like buying a street-car without an engine… it won’t go anywhere, and it’ll just waste your time and money!

4 Stages of Website Design

Stage 1 – Style over substance
The first stage is to design a site that the chief executive officer, venture capitalists, and ad agencies like to see. There are all types of “bells and whistles” in this design. An entire site might be a Flash animated site. Or there might be some beautiful JavaScript mouse over effects or drop-down menus in the design. It’s always a pretty design, but the message is clear – style over substance.

Stage 1 – Style over substance
The first stage is to design a site that the chief executive officer, venture capitalists, and ad agencies like to see. There are all types of “bells and whistles” in this design. An entire site might be a Flash animated site. Or there might be some beautiful JavaScript mouse over effects or drop-down menus in the design. It’s always a pretty design, but the message is clear – style over substance.

Stage 2 – Designing for online visibility
In Stage 2, the reality of an ineffective web design begins to hit, usually around 3-6 months after the initial launch. A site will typically get rejected by many of the major directories, not be indexed by the major search engines, or not get the traffic or sales that were projected based on the various types of marketing strategies used. Typically, that’s when companies decide that they will try to hire a professional online marketer to promote the site. Doorway page companies, in some way, shape or form, rear their ugly heads. Unfortunately, many web site owners fall for a doorway page company’s pitch because the beautifully designed site couldn’t possibly be the problem with low site traffic. Yahoo might have rejected a site, or the site might have been listed in Yahoo and the company cannot understand why they have no description next to their company name. But in no way would many ad agencies or doorway page companies want to tell potential clients the truth — they simply did not design and write an effective web site — because it would mean losing thousands of pounds in business

Stage 3 – Designing for your audience
By Stage 3, after spending an exorbitant amount of money on pretty web site designs and various marketing strategies, web site owners generally figure out that they did not design or write an effective Web site for their target audience. Typically, web site owners will bring in a usability expert to analyze potential problems and present various solutions. Bringing in a search engine marketing expert to help with search-engine friendly web designs &templates early in the design phase can save a company thousands of pounds in online marketing costs.

Stage 4 – Site redesign
After careful usability and search engine visibility analyses, web site owners finally have an effective web site. A site that is written, coded and designed for user friendliness and search engine visibility generally gets the most traffic and resulting sales because it was written, programmed, and designed for end users.

Conclusion
Web sites should always be designed with your target audience in mind, not your own personal preferences. Colours have meaning. Professional designers understand the psychology of colour and the use of white space to best project the image your audience wishes to see. (For example, try not to use the colour red on a financial site.) Understanding the products/services/information your target audience is searching for is paramount to designing and maintaining an effective web site. When you launch a site, you might have to make an educated guess as to what your target audience wants. After that, tools such as site statistics software and reporting from site searches tell you exactly what your visitors are looking for. Then content and marketing strategies can be adjusted accordingly. Unless the advanced technology clearly benefits end users, do not use it on your site. If your venture capitalists or CEO’s or lawyers like the site, ask if they are going to spend the thousands or millions of pounds to keep you in business.

They’re not. Your target audience who will ultimately determine the success or failure of your site.

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