by Gary Glasscock, M.L.C.
How many times have you been surfing the Internet and clicked onto a site only to click right off again for one reason or another?
Perhaps the site took too long to load. Or maybe it was so poorly organized that you had no idea where to look for what you wanted. Maybe you got as far as actually ordering something, but the process was too complicated and you simply grew tired of trying to figure it out.
We’ve all been there. When you’re online, you expect instant access to the information you want, or you’ll leave. It’s as simple as that.
If fact, people take just 4 seconds when they land on a website to decide whether to stay or go. Count it in your head. That’s not a lot of time to convince someone to stick around and buy your product.
First impressions count if you want to convert your website traffic into sales or leads, so your site design is critical. And as with all successful businesses, it all comes down to planning. Here’s 5 things to consider when you create your website:
Map Your Site
Think about all the pages you want to have on your website. Home, About, Contact, possibly a link to your blog (which should be hosted on your own hosting account but that’s for a later article), Testimonials, possibly a product page or two, or anything else you want to include in your site. Then…
Lay It Out In Front Of You
Get out a pen and paper and create a chart showing how the pages of your site will link together. If About is a menu option, what pages do you want to include under that heading? For example, you might want to put the Contact Page as an item available through the About menu option. Draw it out and you will begin to see the structure of your Site Map, which brings us to…
Whatever your site looks like, you need to have the important information laid out in an “F” formation on your page. Various eye tracking studies have shown that people tend to visually track across the page in that “F” pattern.
Put the most important thing at the top of the page, perhaps in the header image. Then people look to the bottom of the header image, and that is the reason why you see so many web pages with the menu right under the header graphic. Lastly, the eye tends to go down the left side of the screen which is another place you see menus.
Keep this “F” configuration in mind when planning out the navigation of your website and when laying out the design of the website. If you have a menu under the header graphic or even in the header at the top, you can always use the left side of the website layout for promotion of your additional products, or for additional information. It’s your site and your choice, do as you wish.
Images & Graphics
The main question to consider when selecting graphics or images for your website is…
What message do you want to convey? Then ask yourself if the image or graphic you are looking at conveys that message. Use graphics and images sparingly and make sure you have a constant theme and message being conveyed between the images and the copy on the page.
There’s been many different opinions on this over the years, but one truism continually arises. Your copy should sound like you are speaking to the individual reading it. Remember, you may have many people viewing a page on your website, but ultimately they are all looking at it by themselves. So speak to that person, that one person on the other side of that computer screen. Speak right to them, and make sure it’s in a conversational style, because you want to draw the reader into your message.
About the Author: Gary Glasscock is a Master Life Coach, Technology coach/advisor, computer geek for 24 years, Business building Coach. Gary’s passion is helping people to help others by assisting them in building successful businesses. Gary is Chief Training Officer of Quest Coach Training and offers the Strategic Business Tactics Course to help train Coaches advanced business-building and marketing techniques and strategies to assist the Coach in building a profitable practice. You can contact the author through our corporate email: email@example.com.