Friday, March 21, 2008

101 Five-Minute Fixes to Incrementally Improve Your Web Site

Easy and quick design tips ...

"A webmaster's work is never done. What may have worked a few years ago when could be outdated today, so it's important to constantly improve your Web site. However, a massive overhaul is just too much work to undertake at one time. Instead, tackle these quick fixes over time, and you'll be able to improve your Web site with minimal pain.

Copywriting

Content, specifically text, is perhaps your site's most important asset. Make sure that it's up to snuff by following these improvements.

1. Tell readers why they should perform a task. If your site is full of passive suggestions, toughen it up. People are trained to follow a request, as long as you give them a good reason to do it.
2. Make the most highly trafficked pages easier to scan. If your current site consists of large blocks of text, break it up so that it's easier for the average Internet user to read.
3. Convey a sense of trust. If you're experiencing skepticism, offer social proof like testimonials or risk-mitigating offers like a free trial.

... Usability

If your site isn't usable, visitors will not stick around. Take these small steps, and you'll have a more user-friendly site that's ripe for conversions.

20. Add a short "about" page. Put a real person behind your site by allowing your visitors to learn a bit about you.
21. Make navigation consistent. Make sure that your site's navigation is on the same place on each page so that visitors don't get confused.
22. Make text links clear. Be sure that your links are descriptive enough so that visitors know exactly where they're going.
23. Use underlined link text. Get rid of your fancy link navigation. Visitors expect to click underlined links. If you dislike underlines, use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to employ a different method of highlighting, like a different text color or font.
24. Never ask for more information than you need. If you're currently asking for excessive information, rethink your data-mining tendencies. When you get greedy for data, you'll turn off some visitors.
25. Always have text links. Although your JavaScript menu might look great, some browsers and users have JavaScript disabled.
26. Have a text-based site map. With a text-based site map, lost visitors can find their way, and you'll make it easy for search engine spiders to find your pages.
27. Link the site logo to the home page. Visitors will expect your logo to link to the home page, so make it easy for them to find it.
28. Add a search box. Are your current visitors lost? Make it easy for them to find exactly what they're looking for with an internal search box.
29. Use plenty of contrast. If text seems to melt into the background, change things up and make your text easy to read by using colors that highly contrast one another."    (Continued via Inside CRM)    [Usability Resources]

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