Minggu, 17 Februari 2008

website purpose

Defining Your Website Purpose

Once you have people visiting your website, the trick for many businesses will be to keep them interested and hopefully coming back to your website. Much has been written on how to construct a good website; sadly much of it seems to have been ignored. This section will not go into great length about how to construct a good website except to provide some general tips and suggestions.

Now that you have firmly established what business you are in based on your client's perception of you, it is important to make a lasting impression with your customers. The questions you will address throughout this manual, including why clients buy from you, will need to be channeled into making sure your website reflects those customer-driven themes.

There are lots of so-called "rules" on website construction, and now that you are viewing things from your customer's point of view some elements of your website that in the past seemed acceptable, may now be viewed with a more critical eye. If this is the case, you are making great progress. During this process it will be beneficial to ask the opinion of friends and relatives who may be able to give you a fresh perspective.

The first thing to keep in mind with any website is DON'T CONFUSE YOUR VISITORS.

By this I mean, make sure that anyone who is visiting your website understands quickly and concisely why they are there.

Your site must clearly convey a simple message; are you SELLING, BUYING or INFORMING your visitors. Put simply, your site should have a main purpose for its existence.

If the site was developed to sell product, it is fine to describe what the product or service is, but the emphasis should be that it is a "sales site." If your site is an online brochure for your company and you are providing a variety of offerings, make sure you are crystal clear so your visitors know exactly where things on your site are located.

1. Grab your visitor's attention right away.

Your site needs to open with a simple, clearly defined message that will make the visitor want to look further at the site. Don't have your opening page begin with paragraph after paragraph of typed text. Nothing turns a visitor off more quickly than the idea that they are going to have to read volumes of material in order to figure out what you do.

2. Make navigation easy and intuitive.

As a general rule, when someone is visiting a website they want to have the flexibility of moving from page to page throughout the website. It can be very annoying to navigate a website by always returning to the home or main page. Even worse is navigating through a website and finding that the only option you have is the “Back button”. When this happen many people simply “click” away to another website. Poor navigational links on a website are signs of poor development quality and or poor planning. In the mind of the visitor, a fault on a website, like poor navigation, reflects on the quality of your business. Make sure all your website pages contain all the same internal links.

See Figures 1 and 2 for examples.

3. Avoid long and wordy paragraphs

Unless you are providing some technical information. Even then it is probably a good idea to provide this information using a downloadable format such as PDF files. It is best to use graphics or pictures to help tell your story. The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is especially true on websites.

4. Speed is of the essence

Especially when it comes to browsing websites. One of the best ways to drive visitors away from your site is by having a site that is painfully slow. Some of the things that can slow a website down are:

a) Graphic images that are improperly applied

b) Faulty scripts and programs improperly applied

c) Web-host operating with slow equipment

d) Animation or sound files improperly applied

When you work hard to attract visitors, the last thing you want to be doing is spoiling their experience with a slow website. Build your site according to the latest modem speed and computer viewing statistics. Finding this information on the Internet will require some research, but it is invaluable in making a better website. Keep in mind that when building your site, what looks good on one computer will be irritatingly slow to download on another.

5. Make your website easy and inviting to navigate

Imagine you are a new customer or visitor to your website. Look at everything with a discriminating eye. Always seek to improve.

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