11.04.2010

Tips for a Successful Website

I was reviewing my blog stats today (because I'm that much of a nerd) and I noticed that the entry for Wild Pacific Cod has by far the most page views. I'm thinking it's because of the pictures. This is further proof that people just don't like to read.

No but seriously. If you want to be successful on the internet, there are a few keys to achieving the best retention:
  • Get to the point:  No one wants to read through paragraph after paragraph of useless rhetoric. Figure out what your point is, and lay it out there. A good way to do this is by using bullet points...
  • People like pretty colors: Pictures and video capture people's attention much more than words on a page. Conversely, too many pictures or graphics will just confuse their eye and make it hard for them to focus on the important things. Moral:  don't clutter your site with silly animated .gifs or goofy illustrations. Make sure everything you have on your site has a purpose and achieves that purpose.
  • Evolution, baby: So, the site's live - that means the work is done, right? Wrong! You should constantly be changing things around, adding things, deleting things, etc. It's survival of the fittest, and things are constantly changing, especially on the internet. Analyze where your traffic is coming from, review how often things are clicked, and revise your site as needed. This is a never-ending process, and the only way to keep people interested is to evolve.
  • Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery: I'm not saying to copy that website you think is great, but definitely do your research. Look at the websites that you think are effective, and take cues from them. Successful websites are a combination of great design, compelling content, and a well thought-out architecture. Make sure these three things are a big part of your focus.
  • Use a designer: This is important. Just because you can use Paint or SnagIt does not make you qualified to design a webpage. And if you think Comic Sans is a great font to express your playful side...God help you. Let the professionals do their jobs.
Your website is almost always the first thing that people go to in order to learn about your company, service or product. You want to make a good impression, so don't throw something up there just to gain an online presence. Ask yourself if your website says what you want it to say.

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