|The main Web page for a business should
load in 15-20 seconds or less on a 56K Modem.
biggest mistake made by new businesses on the net is
trying to impress customers with a fancy, super-duper
all-action web page that takes 10 minutes to load. Problem
is, after the first 30 seconds your potential customer is
gone! He or she is off surfing a competitor's page.
I cannot emphasize this too strongly. YOUR FRONT PAGE
MUST LOAD QUICKLY! Then, after you have captured a
customer's interest, you can get a little fancier on your
internal pages. Customers will wait longer once you have
their attention. (But not much longer. Keep internal pages
to under 1 minute to fully load. Preferably, much under.)
Also, remember that a page that loads to your PC from your
ISP in 15 seconds will not necessarily load that fast for
someone across the country that has to traverse 10-15
nodes to get to your page. Bandwidth can kill you!
Here are some points to remember:
Business web pages should NOT have:
SOUND - long download, little or no benefit.
ANIMATION - cute, but again, your customer is
long gone before it loads (the exception is small animated
GIFs. Emphasis on SMALL). You can search the web for
these, or create them yourself with the appropriate
software. Also, there is a usenet group that has many
resources available, and can even create them for you.
LARGE, BRIGHT-COLORED or MULTI-COLORED
backgrounds. A solid grey, beige or tan is recommended.
Graphic backgrounds can be used, provided they are small,
load quickly, and do not interfere with reading the text.
(DO NOT distract the customer from your message. You are
trying to sell them something, not decorate their
Also, remember that not everyone has the same browser
or resolution as you. A page that looks really good on
your screen can be hard to read on someone else's. WebTV
is especially prone to this. --Stay away from red in the
background. It bleeds into the text and can make it nearly
impossible to read.
Try to view your page on different computers with
different browsers at different resolution. (The library
is one place to try. Also, a friend's house.) Remember,
this is a business! You are trying to appeal to as many
people as possible.
Java or frames These can be used with great
effect on internal pages, but web robots will not index
your page if they run into either on the front page.
Tiny, hard to read text I know you have a great
message, and wonderful products, but the guy with a small
monitor will never know if he can't read it.
Business web pages should ALWAYS have:
name, full address, telephone, email address, and
contact person name and email. (EVERY page on
your site should have this.) This builds trust in your
customers. They know who you are and where you are.
Also, your order form should be available from every
page. If your customer gets an impulse to buy, LET
HIM! Do not risk losing his interest while he is
trying to find the order page.
|Simple, descriptive links from your
front page that tell your potential customer where to
view the products, pricing, detailed descriptions, and
anything else YOU would look for if deciding on a
your products -
Simply describing it doesn't work. You MUST have a
picture. A GOOD picture. The better the picture, the
more likely you will have a sale. Start out with a
small thumbnail that can be clicked on to bring up a
larger image, and say this in the link, so customers
are not surprised by a 3 minute graphic download that
they didn't really want.
- ('back to home page' is always good). Yes, I know
your browser has a 'BACK' button, but not everyone is
a techie, and having reverse links also shows
consideration for the customer on your part. People
appreciate this even if they never use it.
- Domain names can be registered through many places
online for as little as $12.95 a year. A domain name
gives your company a professional look, and is
beneficial in search engine placement. Try for a
domain name that refers to what you sell (greatcoffeepots.com)
not your personal interest or ego (johnsmith.com).
Domains that coincide with metatags and web page
content get rated higher in search engine results.
METATAGS - that describe content, keywords and
title. These are very important in web page placement
on search engines. The careful repetition of the term
will help to raise your rating on many search engines.
If you domain was 'broadcast_antennas.com' it would be
even better. Let me emphasize 'careful', as too much
repetition can actually have an adverse effect. This
is considered one form of spamming, and can even
result in having your entire domain unlisted with some
Optimization - For information on optomizing
your site for search engines, we recommend checking
into the articles and newsletters at
http://www.highrankings.com Jill Whelan does a wonderful job
explaining how search engine optimization works.