Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Simple Sites Sell...

by Jeff Cowtan

What a wonderful world wide web! In recent years haven't we all seen an explosion of spectacular websites with fantastic blockbuster quality movie intros, highly detailed graphical content, or wonderful moving images and banners. Needless to say the webdesigners now have a massive arena in which to show off what they can do. What a wonderful way to demonstrate how they can generate even more elaborate web windows to the world. And of course this trend will probably continue as new technologies become continually more compatible with the internet.

But herein lies a problem...

What is the point of a website? Is it there to show the imagination and skills of the webdesigner? Is it to show the world what can be achieved through the awesome power of this phenomenal medium called the internet? Maybe it's to see how far the boundaries of this incredible technology can be pushed!

Now of course the main purpose of any full on e-commerce website is to sell, sell, sell, but many would argue that the main reason to have a website is to simply provide information. Now, although many site owners with good intentions will argue to the contrary, I believe that the true purpose of...well let's just say the majority of websites...really only exist to make money!

A controversial statement, but even those who claim otherwise, in the majority of cases the bigger picture means a method to generate income. And why not? Whether that be for charitable causes or free enterprise, information sites serve the purpose of creating awareness of the owner's product or service, which in turn will lead to the production of revenue.

So why do so many websites not make this purpose clear?

The simple fact is, that no matter what you are selling, the more easily your visitor can see what is going on, or find what they are looking for, the more likely they will stick around, or at least come back. This in turn will hopefully lead them to take the ultimate action, to finally dip their hand in their pockets!

It should be obvious that if a site is clear, clean and easily navigable then the more successful it is likely to be. The less your visitor has to 'look' or 'search' for what he or she is trying to find, the greater the chance of them taking the action that you ultimately want...and that is to buy!

Now what do you think gets in the way of clear, clean and easy navigation? The answer is simple. Many webdesigns are just too complicated. They take too long to load or just bombard the visitor with just too much information when they get there!

Now I'm not saying too much information is a bad thing but too much on one page, or one area of the page, a never ending supply of links or excessive use of images, just confuse the reader...and then what happens? They go somewhere else, where it might be a little easier to find what they are looking for.

No dear reader, the sooner your visitor finds what they came for, the more profitable it will be for you. Crisp, clear navigation is the key. Get them where they need to be within just a few clicks of the mouse. Avoid coloured fonts, especially on anything other than a white background and keep paragraphs relatively short. Of course make sure the site looks professional as nothing looks worse than text that's all over the show or images that spill into areas where they shouldn't be.

Give them some space and make it easy for them!

About the Author

Did you know that there are now estimated to be billions of web pages on the internet? It's more difficult than ever to make yours stand out. www.cheapandsimplewebdesign.com and find out how a simple webdesign can grow your business.