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Dead links. Do I really need to mention that this is a no-no? Apparently, because so many sites still have links that either do nothing or point to 'under construction' pages. If you don't have content - don't make link.
Site Look and Feel ------------------
If you are walking around Paris, New York, London, or any other major city, there is a particular look and feel to place. Visitors like that: it addresses that instinctual need to know where we are.
What cities and countries do with architecture and landmarks, web sites need to do with design.
Many people sneer at pre-designed templates that come with web design software like 'FrontPage' and 'HotMetal', but idea is sound: creating a themed 'look'. In this way, visitors know they are on your site, whichever page they are on.
Just as well-drafted maps and effective signposts help tourists to confidently find their way around, so too must we ensure that our site visitors never feel lost.
The easiest way to do this is to put whole site's navigation system on every page. An effective device is to color-code menu items and page backgrounds so that folks know intuitively which section they are in.
Provide browsers with familiar landmarks and they will be content to keep on looking at what you have to offer.
Redesigns are often a quick way of making your visitors uneasy. Now, I have no problem with redesigns - most sites get dated after a while - but not at expense of functionality.
In fact, it seems to be an Internet rule that more a site is 'redesigned' more it becomes impossible to navigate. I had been visiting one ISP's site for a couple of years to pick up occasional emails. Then, suddenly, they decided they needed a redesign. After their (probably vastly expensive) designers had made it modern, link to email was hidden way down page. It took me 5 minutes to find it.
Guess which email account I am no longer using?
The Internet is, more than almost anything else in this fast-moving world of ours, all about instant gratification. Unless your visitor can get to what they want in three clicks, likelihood of them exiting increases dramatically.
That is important enough to repeat: you have only three click to keep your visitor's attention.
Even beginners to Internet know that it only takes one click, in their favorites list, to leave you forever.
Martin Avis publishes a free weekly newsletter: BizE-Zine - your unfair advantage in Internet marketing, business and personal success. To subscribe, and get 4 great free gifts, please visit http://www.BizE-zine.com