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Web Site Bloopers

by: Andres Munoz

The Internet today is vast and just keeps growing with new web sites popping up every day but with those new web sites are also untold numbers of awful looking sites. Many webmasters break basic cardinal rules in web design and have a direct impact on sales and traffic. Here is a list of web site bloopers all websites must avoid.

No Domain Name
I’ve seen some sites that sell products and services and don’t even have their own domain name. Pitiful! Nowadays there is no excuse for not having your own domain name and it doesn’t have to cost $35 anymore. I got mine from www.bluegenesis.com for $15 Keep in mind one thing there are tens of tens of thousands of new sites popping up all the time so the name you want may very well be taken. So choose a unique, sensible and easy to remember domain name.

Too Many Graphics
I still can’t get over how many websites break the cardinal rule especially with their homepage, overdoing it with huge useless graphics. The rule of thumb is that your homepage should load under 10 seconds, preferably 8.

Links on your home page
Do not put external links on your homepage that leads to another company. Huge mistake. Don’t give a reason to your visitor to buy elsewhere, if you have reciprocal links with other web sites then do it on a page that's out of the way that can only be accessed after viewing the important pages on your site. That way he sees your products/services first.

Questionable Awards
Most "awards" are questionable, and meaningless to most of your visitors. How cares if you won 10 awards, many people will think “Sure he did”. Instead put more product information to give the visitor a reason to stay and buy your product. If your product received an award from ZDnet or recognition from CNet or any big site that is a brand, use your common sense, YES put it in. Don’t create awards earn them.

I can’t stress this enough but still many websites have basic spelling and grammatical errors. Your copy is a reflection on your professionalism (or lack of it). Take some pride in your website use a spellchecker. Your apparent lack of attention will put negative thoughts in the minds of your visitors. The basic idea here is quality content on your site, giving the visitor a reason to stay and buy from you.

Me, Me and Me
In short the visitor doesn’t care about your wife, kids, your 4 summer homes nor your dog. Your visitor wants to know, “What’s in it for me?” Replace all that wasted space with compelling product information detailing the benefits to the buyer incorporating words like, you and yours.

Broken Links
Why provide links on your site if all it does is lead the visitor to, “The Page Cannot Be Displayed”. Highly unprofessional, always maintain your website and make sure all links work and check for broken links.

Home Pages that "Scrolls Into Oblivion"
Web surfers are scouring the net or information but they will not waste valuable time in reading your homepage if it scrolls into oblivion. Break up your home page to two or three complete vertical page scrolls on a 14"-17" monitor.

Pop-Up Windows
Use with extreme caution, if you over use them your visitors will close them automatically. Too many pop-up windows are damaging to your overall message. They simply get in the way of the products you are trying to sell so try to use them sparingly. There is one pop-up window that is acceptable which allows visitors to sign up for a newsletter.

Banner Farms
I am amazed by the amount of banners I see on websites, let alone the ones on top of the page. Banners take time to load and will turn off any surfer if they need to wait for them. The last thing you need is a banner farm and this goes for all you affiliate marketers out there, use a minimum number of banners or instead just use text links.

Take a good hard look at your website and critique it. The more improvements you make on your site the more traffic will come and more importantly your visitors will stay and explore your site. Remember take pride in your site.

About The Author
Copyright © 2001 Andres Munoz

Andres Munoz publishes the MyBiz Ezine newsletter featuring articles about Internet Promotion, Marketing, Moneymaking Strategies, Mail Order and Home Business advice and tips. MyBiz readers receive an article-rich ezine with few ads.

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