We utilize the following principles
in all of the websites that we design. One way a small business
can improve its performance is to maintain an outstanding
Web site. To avoid having a Web site that turns off customers
rather than attracts them, ask yourself the following questions:
Why do we have a web site? What
is it used for?
Whether you are planning
your Web site or already have one up and running, it is important
to have clear concise goals. Is your Web site used for sales,
information, customer acquisition, promotion or for other
reasons? By maintaining your focus, you can deliver a more
powerful message to your customers.
Is the content of the site fresh?
If you want visitors to return to your site,
you need fresh content. Your Web site should be refreshed
regularly with new images, product information, articles of
interest and any other helpful items for your customers. Adding
a "What’s New" section is one way to get your
customer’s attention. Something as simple as seasonal
or holiday graphics as part of your logo subtly lets your
client know you care about your web site.
Is the site simple to navigate?
If customers have to search high and low to
find a particular item on your Web site, chances are good
that they will give up the chase before they reach the page
of interest. Getting from point A to point B on your site
should be as simple as a few clicks. If navigating to a page
requires an excess number of clicks, your customer will get
lost and frustrated. As a rule of thumb, try to keep all items
within four clicks from your home page. Also, every page on
your site should have a link back to your home page to prevent
customers from getting lost.
How long does it take to download?
Because most Internet users are known for being
impatient, there is no excuse for having a site that loads
slowly. The biggest culprit here is usually graphic images.
Avoid using large images on your pages by using small clusters
of graphics. When testing your page to see if it downloads
quickly, set a goal of less than 10 seconds.
Do we need a FAQ's page?
If you notice that customers repeatedly ask
you the same questions about your business, create a FAQ (frequently
asked questions) page. If you use your site to sell products,
consider answering questions about pricing, availability,
shipping options, and your return policy.
Does the site make our business look
A sure sign of an amateur Web site is one that
features all sorts of animated images, scrolling texts, sound
files and flashing colors. Customers come to your site to
learn about your products or service, not to see bells and
whistles. By toning down the graphics and fancy technology,
you will make your site more enjoyable for your customers
and reduce your download time.
Do we have a No-Tolerance Policy for
To give your site the professional look it deserves,
make sure you take the time to go through your site and search
for errors and bugs. Be on the lookout for missing links that
go nowhere or result in error messages. In addition, use the
dictionary or a spell check feature before putting any articles
on your site. Typos and poor grammar only can hurt your business,
so avoid sloppy content at all costs.
Is it Short and Sweet?
Unless your customers come to your site to read
lots of information, avoid writing long, rambling content.
Write your articles so they are easy to read by using short
paragraphs and bullet points.
Are we Accessible to our Customers?
In order to make it easy for customers to contact
you for further information, list your email address, phone
number, fax number throughout your site. Because some customers
are still cautious about making online orders, you need to
have other ways for them to order. If a customer can’t
find a way to get a hold of you for more information, it is
likely that they won’t stick around to make a purchase.
Can we use a Focus Group?
Just because you think your site is good doesn’t
mean it’s lacking flaws. It never hurts to have other
people try out your site and test its usability. Also, consider
the idea of surveying a few of your customers to get their
feedback. By listening to an unbiased person with a fresh
perspective, you may find new ways to improve the quality
of your Web site.
For more info please contact
Your Design Studio
526 Summer St
Bridgewater Ma. 02324