By this time almost every company has a web site. Many
companies are not very happy with theirs. And the most common reason
for this feeling is that there is not a great deal of traffic to
their web site. Why is this?
Research shows that 80 to 90% of visitors to web sites
never leave the page that they came in on. There are several reasons
for this. The user clicks the wrong button and lands on a page which
is not interesting. The page they came in on is confusing with too
much clutter, or lacks enough information to encourage the visitor
to stay. The most common problem is that visitors did not find what
they were looking for the instant that they arrived on the site.
Creating an entry, or home page that works is critical.
Navigation aids are a key to a good web site design. There must
be top navigation links that encourage the visitor to go to the
most important pages on your web site. And these links should be
changed periodically. Left side navigation links tells the visitor
what is in your site and how to get around. Bottom navigation is
a repeat of some of the links on the top and side. There must be
contact information which includes your corporate name, address
(street and e-mail) and telephone number.And how about a tagline
which tells visitors about your business and what you do. Finally
there should be copyright information and a privacy statement.
It is critical to keep your entry page fresh. It's easy
to have an automatic date change. It tells the visitor that your
site is up to date. Do not have a date telling when the site was
last updated. And please don't use that obsolete "counter"
that most sites had back in 1995. There are much more sophisticated
ways to analyze the traffic to your site, page by page, which is
transparent to the visitor. Change other items on your home page
periodically so that visitors are encouraged to make repeat visits
to your site to find new information.
The right side of the entry page should be used for
attention-getting sales pitches and information on new products
and collateral materials. Many sites have self-banners promoting
products and services.
And finally you need to optimize your web site so that
the major search engines and directories list your site when the
appropriate keywords (and phrases) are inserted into a search box.This
is called Search Engine Optimization and
is a critical feature in any good web site design.
Your web site may be your most important method for
getting new leads and increasing sales. If it isn't today it will
be shortly. It is not enough to just have a web presence. It must
work hard for you.