100 Hints for Building an Effective Website

100 Hints for Building an Effective Website

So you want a more effective website? Internet 6 has been building and maintaining effective websites for individual professionals and small businesses since the beginning of the net "goldrush" back in the mid-90's and since then, we've learned quite a lot about what makes an effective website. There is no single "best website" for all uses, but there are certain best practices that ensure your website will attract and appeal to your target market. This is what we mean when we refer to an "effective website" -- one that attracts the people you want to attract, interests them enough to go beyond the first page, and, most importantly, entices them to take some action at the end of their visit.

It really doesn't matter if you're selling toys or auto parts, dispensing information about mortgage refinancing, explaining acupuncture, or providing information to members of a professional association -- certain elements of website design are universally reliable for making your website more effective. These are the same practices we've used in our design and hosting business to get our clients to the top of the search engines and help them increase their sales.

If you want an effective website, include these 100 hints when you design and build your website.

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"100 Hints for Building an Effective Website"


Some Frequently asked questions:

    How do I know if I have an effective web site?
      Is it doing what you want it to do? In order to gauge whether your site is effective, you need to quantify what results you are looking to achieve. Simply deciding to "sell stuff on the internet" isn't going to tell you if your web site is successful -- the first time you sell something, you've met your goal. At that point you have a successful web site. In order to determine if it's an "effective web site," you need to set out definite, attainable goals and work to achieve them. Don't set a goal of 1,000 units out the door the first week you're online and decide you don't have an effective web site if you miss that goal -- it's unrealistic. Think of it in terms of a direct mail campaign, where a 2-4% response rate is pretty realistic.

    How do I know if I have made my web site more effective?

      It may seem elementary, but there's more to it than just increased sales. If you're selling something, then sales as a percentage of visitors is your best measure. Increasing sales by 2% may or may not be a great thing -- if your visitor count is static, it's good. If you visitor count is twice what it used to be and sales have only increased 2%, then you haven't got a more effective web site.

    What are my most important statistics for improving web site efficacy?

      Generally, you'll want to look at which pages your visitors look at and how long they stay on your site. The pages they review tell you whether they go beyond the home page, and the length of stay tells you if they are reading the pages.

      If people aren't reading the pages you want them to read, then you need to figure out why. If they are reading those pages, yet you still aren't getting the results you expect, then you may need some outside help in fixing those pages.

      Ignore the "length of visit" outliers -- the 1-10 second visitors and the more than 10 minute visitors. These are the people who click and click away, or fall asleep at the keyboard. The 11-second or longer visitors are your focus and that's the number of visitors on which you should be basing your results.

    Have I just wasted 5 minutes here?

      Not if you learned something to help you make your web site more effective. If you have, let us know. If you haven't, let us know that, too.