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May 30, 2008

Be Obvious. Be Simple. Be Smart: Tips for Designing a Stellar Website

You have the layout complete. The text is done. Let’s Build! Wait. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row first before throwing up any old website. Stand out, be different, and showcase your product in a stellar setting. Check out these tips for designing a website that will quickly convert traffic to sales! Clean code with a crisp marketing message, coupled with a search engine friendly design might just knock the socks off any search engine that comes crawling your way.

Slappin’ Ya in the Face Obvious

You’d be surprised by how many people say, “…but my phone number is right there!” …But is it, really? Is your call to action on your website so pronounced that it practically hits your potential buyer-customer square between the eyes? If not, you might want to fix that. Studies show five seconds is all you’ve got to captivate your audience with a bright call to action, or a custom graphic to make it obvious. Hook, line and sinker them with a sheer cut, eye popping call to action! Whether it’s a “Call Today”, “Book It”, or “Buy Now” – make sure the Pick ME cue is apparent and obvious to your target audience.

Get Ready to Rumble…

We’re all human. Competition runs in our blood. Everyone wants to be first or “the best”…carry this attitude over your website and you are sure to beat out your competition! Your website is your virtual store, and if you don’t possess this thinking already, you need to. Invest in your website, as its seen 24 hours a day, seven days a week by potential clients all over the world. Be prepared and get educated, as a website is a terrible thing to waste. The good old days of tweaking things here and there and wham! …top ten placements, is over. Invest your time and hire a good SEO firm to help you market your business the right way.

Find out who’s the hottest in your industry and make it a goal to beat them. With over 180 million searches on the web today, it is imperative to research keyword phrases that your competition is going after. What are their marketing tactics and are they working? Do they have an email campaign located on-site? What are their credentials? Does the website offer coupons, discounts or hot deals? It’s the internet my friend, the competition is steep and all bets are off. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your gloves, and get ready to rumble! Or, research an internet marketing firm that specializes in both search engine optimization and website design that can fight the battle for you.

Simple Simon Wins

Being a “Simpleton” ain’t all that bad these days. Just because the world turns at record breaking speeds doesn’t mean your website has to. Too much going on, whether there are words upon words, or graphics up the wazoo, can do more harm than good. Be cautious before slapping up just any old image or using too much text to get your point across. We all know that “Content is King!”, but Optimized Content reigns supreme. By strategically placing the right keywords in your Title Tags, Meta Data Tags and throughout the body of your website, your business will benefit. Clean design, concise code, and fresh marketing ideas that are clear to the end user will help you get the leads and generate the desired sales you are looking for.

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize!

Search engine optimization…what’s all the hype about!? Internet competition is booming -open your eyes and smell the code! If you have a beautiful website, but it’s not converting…you’ve wasted your time and money. A well built website with search engine optimization in mind is a goldmine at your finger tips. What’s the first step in optimization? Researching and determining a list of keywords that will drive traffic to the site and convert into sales. Test out various keywords, find out what your competition is and let it ride. For the keywords that don’t convert, bag ‘em. Expand your focus to reach broad based keywords as well as long tail keyword phrases. The narrower the keyword is, the more likely the user will convert on your page.

Widgets are In

What is a widget? Widgets aid in the process of interacting with your target audience. When your potential customer/buyer installs your widget on their webpage, blog or social media networking profile – you have won a valuable friend! Widgets provide a great way to strengthen the bond between your existing customers and any newbie’s who are interested in your product. Get new customers and provide a widget for them to interact with you. Personalization is “key”. Almost anything can become a widget – from games to stock tickers or audio players – put your thinking caps on and give your customers the option!

Smarty Pants Always Test.

This is true. Successful websites are successful because webmasters test their work. A great way to test your website to see if your design is working is through the A/B Split method. These tests run concurrently, at least for a couple of weeks to gain true results. A/B testing provides real world, data-driven, unbiased results based on your target market. There is now even an easy to use A/B Split testing program through the Google Website Optimizer tool! Check it out and win big. Go ahead – be a smarty pants…you know you want to!

Time to Analyze

Yes, folks – it’s time to analyze. You might think the hard work is done, but it’s now time to see if all your work has paid off successfully. You’ve created this gorgeous website perfectly equipped with clear calls to action, clean code and search engine friendly site architecture – now what? Let it ride and hope for the best? NO! Test, test and analyze your findings.

Does your hosting company offer a stats program? If so, fire that baby up and analyze what is working, what can be tossed out and what needs to be amped up. Focus on unique visitors, time on site, referrals, and what keyword phrases are driving the most targeted traffic. A stat program is your friend, NOT your enemy. Embrace your website’s analytics and learn from them to tailor your website, your search engine optimization and your business model after this information. Google also has a free analytics program that involves placing a simple code before the </body> tag on pages you’d like to track. Fast, effective and proven.

If you are a “do-it-yourselfer”, I hope these tips helped you with the marketing of your business. If you are too busy and are looking for a firm to handle both the building of your website and the marketing – research a good SEO firm. Count on a professional internet marketing company to shine through and get your hard work to pay off. Good luck!

About:

Sarah Lamansky is a Search Engine Marketing Manager at Mannix Marketing, Inc. in Glens Falls, NY. Please contact us for all of your search engine marketing, website design/development and advertising needs. With a positive approach, streamlined goals, and over Ten Years in the search engine optimization industry, We Get You Found On The Web AND increase your sales. For website tips, advertising ideas or a FREE search engine optimization quote, please contact us. Got ten minutes? Let’s talk.

2 Responses to “Be Obvious. Be Simple. Be Smart: Tips for Designing a Stellar Website

    avatar San Diego Web Designers says:

    Berners-Lee’s breakthrough was to marry hypertext to the Internet. In his book Weaving The Web, he explains that he had repeatedly suggested that a marriage between the two technologies was possible to members of both technical communities, but when no one took up his invitation, he finally tackled the project himself. In the process, he developed a system of globally unique identifiers for resources on the Web and elsewhere: the Uniform Resource Identifier.

    avatar Natural Healing says:

    This ia a nice blog

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