Some websites are still stuck in the 1990s, offering a glimpse of the early days of Internet activity. Such designs may still be functional, but they are also outdated and subject to scrutiny by visitors that may wonder if the site is still being updated. Most websites, however, are much more current as well as functional and very attractive. Your website should keep up with the times, loading quickly and cleanly. The following are some of the top attributes of a rocking website design.
Ease of Navigation
Your website loads fast, therefore you already stand a chance that your visitors will take a closer look. Navigational ease is critically important, and is something you should address in two places: along the top of the website and in the side bar. Use the top navigation to feature your important links. With more room on the side bar, you can include those links plus subpages.
You also need to look beyond the standard navigation to consider how visitors to your site move around your pages. Oftentimes, your guests will read something and then they will take a step back. By installing BreadCrumb navigation, you can show your readers how they arrived there. Essentially, you are reducing the number of clicks readers must take, a helpful feature for them, although your web traffic numbers will decline.
Also make use of tags and have your key tags display in your sidebar. The terms that people are most looking for will appear and they will click on these tags for more information. Always use a site map to help users and web bots alike. And, finally, do not allow blank space in your footers to go unused. Post your secondary links there too.
Sensible Ad Use
Most every website serves up ads. After all, you need to cover your costs and make some money in the process.
Ad placement is a delicate art, something that Google and others would like to see you get right. The definition of “getting it right” can vary from ad server to web master, so keep in mind the user experience. Pop ups and pop unders are among the most annoying ads, but if used intelligently they can still serve a purpose. Just make it easy for people to “x” out an ad or time it to disappear after 10 seconds or so. Use a script that keeps the ad from popping up time and again too.
How many ads should you use? That’s a matter of debate, but three seems like a good average, provided that these ads do not overwhelm your website. Ad sizing is another matter and a good mix of display and text ads can keep your visitors from getting frustrated and moving on. Besides, carefully placed ads mean that they are more likely to get clicked on, raising your revenue.
Perhaps there is some information that you want to get in front of your website visitors before they read anything else. Carefully constructed, a landing page can do that and more. This is especially easy to do if you sticky a post or page via WordPress.
There is a danger in using a landing or an introductory page. The danger here is that when visitors come to your website, they may not easily find what they were looking for. Never frustrate your visitors by hijacking their web search to send them to a page that is of little interest to them.
Beyond using a theme or style sheets that are clean, attractive and easy to move through, it is the words on the page that matter most to your readers. Quite easily, you can buy a kick-ass WordPress theme, but serve up less than stellar content.
Make your content easily available, free and interesting. It is so easy to serve up the same story as everyone else, but finding a different angle or a unique perspective can take you far. Your articles should be timely, well researched, cleanly written and leave your readers with a sense that you imparted valuable information.
Avoid using long paragraphs by breaking larger ones into smaller units. Use paragraph headers, repeat your keywords carefully, do not bore your readers and do not become a boor to them! Add in a related photograph with a caption, link out to related articles within and without your site and serve up an amazing headline or title.
As much as you may want to write for the search engines, avoid this practice at all costs. If you write for a human audience, your best content will get shared. Moreover, visitors will hang around and leave comments, subscribe to your blog or website, patronize your advertisers, buy your products, use your services and tell others about your awesome site. These points alone make it worth your while to pursue a rocking website design that regularly serves up killer content.