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Ask the Experts: How Captivating is Your Website?

Written By: Maria Herbert, First Net Impressions  |  Posted: Monday, June 27th, 2011

Ask the experts: Taking the mystery out of the Internet.           
The majority of people depend on the Internet for many things on a daily basis. For me, it's been a way of life for 15 years. It's how I communicate with friends and family, shop, research a new product, look for someone to wash my windows, and run my business. In those years, I've come across a lot of websites...good and bad.
            So let's talk about what makes a captivating website. First off, an effective design should have a clean layout and be easy to navigate. When designing your homepage, start with a sketch pad and pencil. Step away from the keyboard! Think about what sort of hierarchy or focal point your homepage will emphasize. For instance, if you want four subjects on the homepage but one of the four is your biggest money maker, it makes sense to give that one a larger portion of the screen real estate. This immediately gives your visitors direction and allows you to guide them through your website.
            A good website must also have a proper mix of search-engine-friendly content and engaging imagery. A search engine uses the content on the page to determine what you should be found under. Never make an image with all your content in it. Search engines can't read images and, to a search engine, it will look as if there's no content on your site at all.
            As business owners we must seek new ways of attracting consumers and keeping them on our websites. It's ever so important to make their visit educational, entertaining or engaging as quickly as possible. A good website will certainly help and a bad one will have them just a click away from your competitor.

            Now that you think your website is ready for the world, is it ready for the mobile user? Next issue we'll discuss the pros and cons.

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