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Top 10 Tips To Remember When Building Your Site

7 Oct, 2009 Phil SEO, Starting Up, Web Design

During my research phase of ‘Project X’, I jave checked numerous sites and resources to find the best advice (and most relevant) when planning and beginning the website development.  From this, I found consistencies betweeb all the advice which I am compiling into my top 10 essential lists to bear in mind: 

1) Create a website business plan that integrates nicely with your overall marketing objectives; the content should be consistent with any offline materials (leaflets, posters, business cards), the graphics/images should be web friendly and consistent with your overall branding; same colours, fonts, basically, everything that makes your website ‘recognisable’ as a brand.

2) When creating a website, try not to get “geek crazy” – meaning you become so in love with the latest design technology, your web site gets bogged down with heavy graphics, add-on software and components, GIF animated image/tacky crap, etc. But, conversely, check your ego at the door when you work at your design. There are too many sites cramped with meaningless junk they literally turn visitors away.  A decent, clean design is what you typically need.  Keep it ‘fresh’.

3) Pay attention to your website’s “load times,” i,e. how long it takes a web site to load on the worst-case scenario: a 56 kbps modem (this is an industry average and some users will still be using this – even in today’s broadband world).  If its more than 12-18 seconds, you may experience the “click of death” – the site doesn’t load quickly and the surfer is gone… forever.   Of course if you are targeting broadband customers who are reaching your site via ISDN, DSL or Cable modem then you can build a website that incorporates multimedia-ready content that may include streaming audio or video, Shockwave or Flash capabilities.

4) Keep it simple – make a website easy to navigate, build an efficient menu structure that is consistent with industry standards.

5) Your visitors should be able to get to their desired area of your site within one or two mouse clicks; they will quickly get frustrated if they have to click around multiple menus to get to the page that they are seeking.

6) Develop content that is web-friendly.  People don’t read text on websites like they do in any other offline media. Keep paragraphs short ( no more than three or four sentences) and put in white space between your content, include links in your pages as well to other areas of your site as well.  this not only steers people across your site, but also helps with seo.

7) Make your site User-friendly.   Don’t use white backgrounds with yellow text, don’t have tiny, tiny writing.  This page is about the limit (I personally love this size, but the majority of people don’t).  Also bear in mind people who are colour-blind or visually impaired – can they still use your site efficiently?   Will they be able to actually see anything on your site?

8. Optimise your website for Search Engines by researching about 8-12 keywords that people will use to find your site from Google etc, then incorporate these keywords actually within your site content (to drive relevancy with search engine spiders/bots) and then get lots of links to your site (also known as ‘backlinks’.  It is estimated as much as 70% of all traffic to most web site comes through a search engine of some sort – mainly Google, Yahoo and Aol.

9) Check  into your log server files regularly to uncover “tracking” made through your website – your log files are raw data that show how and from, where people located  your website, where they went within your web site, how long they stayed there for, etc.  There are many products on the market that can achieve such purpose, such as Google Analytics.   With Google, you would simply sign up with Google for free, they then give you some god to add into the pages and it does all the reportig for you.

10) Think global, not local - in your overall site design.  Always think that the greatest Internet growth is occurring outside where you live, so it is essential to build a site that can be accessed easily by people anywhere around the world – assuming that the content can be useful for anyone.   You may also want to make your web site content readily available in diverse languages as well (especially if e-commerce), so your website can be utilized by all.

 

Hope you find this as useful as I did.   It may seem common sense, but it’s easy to forget one or more of the important factors.

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About Phil

Phil is creative director at PSM Digital but also freelances with web design and SEO in Manchester, UK. He researches and studies online business, along with the latest technological advances and development in design, SEO and social media.

2 Comments

  1. Nice one Phil, i will be using your advice as i go on my journey, thanks and top drawer stuff again, god ive got years to do, to get a grip of all this, ha ha.

  2. No probs Gary. Let me know how you get on. :)

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About The One Man Mission...

Hi I’m Phil. Welcome to my blog, where you’ll find useful information on web design, development and online business advice.  I’m a creative director for a digital agency in Manchester, UK and I also freelance web design also.  Currently setting up and developing a new online business, I am here...

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