Here is a quick list of components that make a website
attractive. They are listed in layers of attractiveness
beginning with the “must” haves, to “nice to haves.”
1. State the website’s purpose up front and clearly of the
site. Do this as quickly as possible. The visitor needs to
know immediately if they have landed on the right site.
They also need to know “what’s in it for me to stay here.”
If you don’t provide this, they are gone. 90% of the sites
on the Net don’t do this.
2. Give visitors the ability to search for exactly what
they are looking for, if they have something exact in
mind. A “site search feature” satisfies this best. Allow
the search feature to be prominently displayed and not
hidden away somewhere. It is best place in the navigational
system so that it shows up on every page. Sales letter only
websites are an exception to this rule. Return visitors and
visitors that have something specifically in mind, want the
option and ability to find what they want fast. So give it
3. Photos allow connection. Especially to people who
process visually. Clip art gets them to pay attention,
however, it doesn’t create much of a connection. Personal
photos connect within reason. Keep them less than three to
a page. One photo always needs to be in the top portion of
the screen on the first page. It doesn’t need to be large,
4. Ways to capture visitors information wherever possible.
5. Place items on the site that keep them lingering. Audio
and video are one of these, yet there are other less time
consuming and inexpensive ways to keep them entertained.
6. Articles. For solopreneur sites, your own written
articles. For other sites, articles with various authors
yet on focus.
7. Interactive elements. For example: response forms,
8. If you use a shopping cart, it must be fluid, no
hiccups. PayPal is not a shopping cart, it’s a hiccup. All
auto responders must be well written and positive. If
someone purchased something, they need the energy of “thank
9. Give offers that are of value.
10. Clear path of where a newcomer can start if it is their
11. Newsletter that is consistent with the 80/20 rule.
80% value and 20% marketing.
12. E-courses of value.
13. Well-written e-books: 50-75 pages, plus valuable
information (info not found anywhere else). Length doesn’t
do more than provide perceptive value. Once purchased and
the vastness is only fluff, then your credibility is shot.
Complimentary e-books meet the same requirements.
14. Give them other ways to receive more on…you if you are
the focus…or the information if that is the focus.
15. Automated referral system. If you want referrals for
your products or services, make it easy for you to get them.
Set it up so it’s as automatic as possible, and clear and
easy for someone to send you a referral. Be clear on what
and how you want to give for that referral.
First you need original content. Content is the heart beat of any exceptional Web site. The ability to take a common subject and give it some interest and originality is a rare talent,but necessary to keep visitors coming back. Add a dash of humor, be sure to update once or twice a month and look out, you’re on your way.
Second you need, great graphics. If your graphics are properly used they can greatly enhance a web site and it’s content. However, if you overuse or they take forever to load, you will drive visitors away before they even see the content. The irony here is that just about anyone can make decent graphics and expensive programs are not required.
Third, you need a good presentation. Good Web sites do not keep the user guessing. They make their purpose immediately evident and present an easy to follow navigation system. The content and graphics blend in perfectly with the presentation and following it is a simple matter. You will never find hyperbole or confusion caused by overuse of animated graphics,Java or anything else that will serve to mask the intent and content of the site. Most importantly, a great Web site is run by a competent and knowledgeable Webmaster. One who knows how to seamlessly move the visitors to each level of the site. A great Web site is not a side show, it’s a simple (no-need-to-be flashy) library of content. It just does what it is supposed to do and leaves the hoopla behind.
Last, but not least your site needs to be both interactive and proactive. Good web sites are ones that are people conscience.While, yes, the Internet is the cutting edge of technology and
all that, remember it’s just regular people, like you and I that are using it and will make it what it is in the future. The great web sites are the ones with the developers who not only
have all the techno skills, but the people skills to boot. Think about the sites you visit over and over. What keeps you coming back. Useful content. Yes. How about that feeling of
belonging. Like someone is actually having a one on one conversation with you. The ability to provide the opportunity to express and contribute is the mark of a superior web developer
and what makes a web site one of the great ones.