10 Tips for Killer Website Design
By Jan Peterson
Does website design make a difference in how long people
will visit your website or if they'll stay and shop? You
bet. You've seen the websites that scream "bad idea" and
you know those folks are losing potential customers to
their ineffective website design. Whether you are an
internet newbie or an experienced marketer, you should
understand that good website design is part of the success
So hėre are my 10 tips on how to create killer website
design that will invite potential customers in instead of
scare them away.
1. Easy Navigation- The Road To Success
When people come to your website they are usually
searching for something in particular. It might be recipes
for a healthy low fat diet that takes less than 30 minutes
to prepare or what is the best business to start online.
Whatever they want, you need to have the answer. So ask
yourself, why do people come to my website? When you know
that then you know you should make it easy for them to
I have been on countless websites that make it difficult
for me to do business with them. And you know what my
first response is? "Next!"
I am onto the next website to see if they can answer my
question. People don't want to waste their time hunting
for things that should be easy to find.
So, if people come to your website to find widgets, have a
button easy to see and locate that says "Widgets". People
have been trained to look to the left of the website for
the navigation bar.
2. Flashing Gizmos - The Exit Ramp To A Dead End Street
You've seen those sites where the elephants are dancing
and the poker chips are running across the screen asking
you to clļck on them; the only thing they have ever done
for me is give me a headache and to reach the "let me get
out of hėre as fast as I can" button on my computer.
If you are a running a professional site, please don't use
flashing graphics. Guaranteed you are encouraging people
to leave your site. People have come to you for
information. Not to clļck on an ad or have their brain
Make your website a pleasant environment for the customer
to be in. Just like a store. Think about when you go to
the mall. You want to go in a store that is clean, well
laid out, has good customer service and the products you
are looking for. Your website should reflect this. If it
is what you expect in your shopping experience, then isn't
it reasonable that your customers are looking for this in
What about music? Well, it depends. On most business sites
I would suggest not. But let's say you have a realtor by
the ocean who rents out homes for summer vacations. They
have music that sounds like the ocean is lapping at the
foot of your desk. I think music is appropriate in this
venue, but I would definitely have it "off" as people log
onto your site and give them an option to turn it on.
Don't forget many people are surfing in their office
environment and don't want the boss to find out. If your
music is loud or on as people log onto your site and can't
find a quick way to turn it off, they will leave your site
faster than a cat that just saw the jaws of a Doberman!
3. Color - Enhancing The Highway Scenery
Color is an individual preference, but studies show that
colors have an affect on people's emotions. Look at the
top sites like Amazon; their layout is simple and so is
their color scheme.
My recommendation would be to go with the flow. If you
have a financial investmėnt site, then conservative colors
seem to follow. If you sell beach items, then lots of fun
colors apply. If you have a bridal showėr website, I would
say soft pastels. Think about your audience and you will
know the color scheme.
4. Page Links - I-95 To Your Destination
This is a no brainer but make sure all of your buttons are
hyperlinked to a page and the right destination page. No
one including Google likes broken link pages. It can be
tedious but do it anyway. As you hover over the button and
look down in the left-hand part of your screen, you will
see the hyperlinked page. Just verify that yours are
5. About Us - Is Your Map Reliable?
People usually want to know basic things before they do
business with you. Who are you, how do I get a hold of
you, what is your product or service guarantėe, will you
will I get the product, etc. You need to answer these
questļons to create trust between you and your potential
6. Sitemap - How Do I Find My Way Around This Big City?
Let's say you have a lot of products or pages and
resources. A sitemap helps people to find what they are
looking for quickly without have to rummage through your
whole site like a lost soul. They are not hard to create
but are useful for large sites. It also helps the search
engines to know what you are about very quickly.
7. Fast Loading Pages - All Lanes Are Go!
There is nothing worse than slow loading pages. You can
optimize your graphics for your website. People hate to
wait. You can chėck your page load time and page rank on
Alexa.com. Slow pages equal death to an online business.
8. Shopping Cart - Need To Buy Some Souvenirs
If you are selling items or services, you need a reliable
and well organized shopping cart. I have seen some
websites that have a zillion products listed and to email
them for orders. What a nightmare! Yes, the shopping carts
will charge you a fee, but it is worth it for them to
handle the transaction. There are many good shopping carts
available and I would research them based on your
9. Templates or Original Design- Chevrolet or Porsche
People often think that to have a website designed is
going to cost thousands. So they opt for the templates and
throw together sites. There is nothing wrong with this
approach except I can tell the difference between what I
call a "canned" site and one that was created from
scratch. While I don't think a website that uses templates
will turn off a customer, I just think it may not be as
Have fun with your online business. You can go to any
number of photography sites and download professional
photos from cows to race cars. This will make your site
look more customized.
Again, I recommend that you shop for a good web designer.
I paid around $400 for a basic site to go up. I know
others would have charged me $1000 or more. That's why you
need to shop and see examples of their work.
10. Customer Service - The Finish Line!
Okay so how is customer service a website design? Well,
customer service should be written all over your site.
From tips, to frėe reports, to guarantees, to fast and
reliable shopping. People want to know you know what you
are talking about and can deliver the goods they want.
Give a little and I guarantėe you'll get in back tenfold.