If you have a website for your business, you will want to attract as many visitors as possible, to encourage them to read what you have to say, and to make a purchase! However, you need to know what makes a good website layout. There is no magic formula for website success. You will need to put time and effort into creating this. Many people do not realize this, and give up when they do not get the results that they want. You need to find out what works for your business and in your industry. There are some basic essential elements that makes a good website layout.
First, look at your website from the point of view of your customers. What would they expect to find? How easily can they navigate the website? Is it simple to make a purchase? Does everything on the site work correctly? I know I have experienced going to a website for the first time and when I click on a tab, I get an “error” message or “not found” message. That is frustrating for me as a consumer! Do you think I will return or move on to another website that has a better layout? Your potential customers will do the same on your website!
Second, you need to remember to take search engines into account and look at some basic SEO tips. Here are a 10 things to consider when optimizing your website for a good layout:
- Check the website navigation. Customers will give up if they cannot find their way around easily. The best place for navigation tools is at the top or on the left hand side, which is where people expect to find them. Also include additional navigation features at the bottom of the page and include a search box. In sites with lots of pages it is also helpful to include “breadcrumbs,” which show the user’s current location. (An example of a breadcrumb would be: Home > Flights > Europe > Paris.)
- Keep your pages clean and simple. Make sure there is not too much clutter on the pages. Home pages in particular often contain too much information, making them difficult to read. Similarly, be careful with the color scheme, which could be a turnoff.
- If your site only uses Flash, it may be difficult for search engines to index it. It may also cause viewing problems for customers without the right technology or software.
- Do not expect your customers to contact you for additional details. Give them all the information they need, including prices, product information and returns policy. If I don’t see a price on a website, I leave and go to another one. What will your potential customers do? Do include a contact page with your address, phone and email address with an optional contact form. If a visitor does like your product, you want all options to be available to them if they choose to contact you.
- Use real pictures of real people. Add your professional photograph on your “about us” page. Keep things real. Everyone knows what stock photos look like and no one want to see these fake images. Connect to your visitors by letting them see you!
- Check your spelling and grammar throughout your website. A poorly written website looks unprofessional and drives away customers. It is always worth asking someone else to proofread your website for you. If you don’t have anyone to do this, come back a few hours later with refreshed eyes and read the content out loud to catch mistakes.
- Make sure you do not have pop up boxes. Many people use pop up blockers since many solicitors use them for advertisements. Your visitors may not see the extra pop up window. Pop up boxes are an old style you shouldn’t use anymore.
- Look for broken links on your website. A good way to achieve this is by checking your website in Google Webmaster Tools.
- Check the download time. If your website takes too long to load, people will not wait around. I know I won’t!
- Music that starts playing as soon as visitors enter your website can be a major turn off. Many customers will immediately leave, especially if they are at work, or if they do not like your choice of music.
Finally, updating your website is not something you do once. What makes a good website layout includes a continuous process of updating and checking feedback. Search engines want to see unique content written about the service you provide or the field you are an expert in. Search engines will value your website more if you add unique and fresh content. Let your visitors know what is cutting-edge in your industry. What’s new in your company? What’s the latest products? Your visitors will enjoy your current material and will soon share it with their social media friends!