I recently spent a little time surfing the web looking at general web marketing and promotion sites and was somewhat surprised at how many were making what I consider, basic design mistakes. How many of the following apply to YOUR site?
Difficult to see from the top half of the page (ie, that part that first comes into view in my browser window) exactly what it is that the site is meant to be promoting.
– if it is not clear from what can be seen in the browser window the average visitor will move on.
– some sites were so full of banners, news headlines and various other links that it was impossible to know what they were offering. Some were in fact offering marketing services, some provision of news services, while others were even offering web design services – no thank you!
At the top of your home page should be a headline/paragraph which answers the visitors most important question “What’s in it for me?” What is this site offering that will improve my business? Make my life easier? Earn me some money? Provide the answer to my question?
Loads slowly – if visitors have to wait too long for the site to download, the chances are that they will close the page and move on. If you must have lots of graphics on your site, use a gif optimisation tool.
Flash presentations – they are great if you are doing an offline presentation to a captive audience, or if your visitors are coming to your site for a specific reason – but if you are hoping to catch the casual visitor, don’t bother – or at least offer them the opportunity to be able to skip the presentation.
No e-mail address (or at least very difficult to find) – what do you have to hide? – Why do you not want anyone to contact you? I appreciate that publishing an e-mail address, leaves you open to the possibility of spammers, but it just might bring you some customers!
No “about us” page. It helps to build confidence if there is a small section detailing the names of who runs the site, perhaps with a small biography and even a photo! Let your visitors know that they are dealing with a real live human being who has enough confidence in their site to be proud to put their personal details on it.
No contact details. As with the above, at the very least you should show a company name and mailing address, together with an email address and possibly a contact telephone number.
So to summarise:-
Tell your visitors clearly and quickly what your site is about, with a fast loading front page that has a clear benefit statement at or near the top, answering the question “What’s in it for me?”
Have a means for your visitor to contact you easily – they may wish to buy from you!
Build visitors confidence by telling them who you are, where you are from and a little about your previous business experience.
I have to go now and check my site – ensure that YOU check YOURS!!
Tony Murtagh has spent all his career involved in sales, sales
management, marketing and PR. He was a UK National Sales Manager
(Major Accounts) for a mobile communications company, had his own
publishing company producing a monthly Business to Business magazine
and has acted as a PR consultant for a number of small businesses. He
is now sharing his wide experience of sales, marketing and promotion
in his new web site: –
and in a weekly e-ezine Aardvark Marketing, which you can subscribe
to from the site, or