Five Core Elements to a Successful Website

Written by Micah D. Cranman

It seems to me that many of you who are new to building websites are having trouble figuring out exactly what makesrepparttar difference between a website that's effective and one that doesn't produce results. For example, I recently received this from a reader of my e-zine, Marvin Baerg:

> This is a suggestion for an inclusion of an article on site > design tips. It would be great if you could give some URL's of > "excellently" designed sites withrepparttar 134716 reasons WHY they are > superior, in order to give a model to those of us who are still > amateurs at web design . Maybe also a not-so-good-one, > but then again, that may be construed as slander.

I told Marvin that was a great idea, and that I'd love to do an article like that-and that's what this article is. However, instead of focusing onrepparttar 134717 sites themselves, I'm going to focus onrepparttar 134718 aspects ofrepparttar 134719 sites that make them so great. So, let's begin.

First, there are always *five core elements to a successful website*: global navigation, clean and attractive design, effective sales copy, appropriate text formatting, and value torepparttar 134720 visitor. Let's explore each of these in more detail:

(Please note that with each element I explain, I may give an example of a good site and possibly a bad site. In no way are these examples meant to be an insult torepparttar 134721 site owners or reflect uponrepparttar 134722 quality of their products. I'm simply pointing out what is, in my opinion, good design and bad design.)

1. Global Navigation - It's absolutely vital that your visitors be able to quickly and easily navigate your site and find what they need. In order to provide for this, a site must have a navigation system that will allow them to reachrepparttar 134723 main sections ofrepparttar 134724 site immediately, and it must always be available and recognizable torepparttar 134725 visitor.

o Good Example: I'm probably a little biased here as this is my site, but really, note that no matter what selection you make or what part ofrepparttar 134726 site you're in, you can always get torepparttar 134727 "main" parts ofrepparttar 134728 site with one click.

o Bad Example: Note that as you move through this site, you have to constantly return torepparttar 134729 home page in order to navigate to other pages.

2. Clean and Attractive Design - A site that reflects a professional appearance is essential. While it's not absolutely vital that your site be designed by a professional, keeping it organized and free of clutter is imperative. To do so, make a logical outline of how you think your site's pages should be organized and then build (or rebuild)repparttar 134730 site around that outline. Also, remove anything from your site that isn't generating results for you. It's just making your site cluttered. Further, spend some time in your graphics program to learn how to create attractive graphics for your website.

How To Retain More Of Your Visitors

Written by Said Rouhani

Did you know that most of your visitors probably never go beyond your homepage? And a lot of them leave within ten seconds of hitting your homepage, NEVER to return again?

These are wasted visitors, and you must do everything possible to reducerepparttar waste, or you'll simply miss out on a great amount of profits.

Luckily, there are a couple of effective tactics you can employ to prevent visitors turning their backs on your site. I've outlined ten of them in this article. The basic strategy is two-fold: 1) Trying to keep people on your site 2) Getting them to subscribe to your mailing list.

Here we go:

1. Make it a priority to collect opt-in email addresses

Your number one marketing priority onrepparttar 134715 Web should be to build your opt-in mailing list. This is where most of your customers will come from. And best thing is, once they're on your list you can sell to them over and over. Include a subscription form for your ezine on EVERY page of your Web site (check out my own site for an example of this - pay attention torepparttar 134716 left hand margin).

2. Put up testimonials

Put up a couple of shining testimonials right on your homepage. Interject your homepage copy with a couple of these testimonials. Addrepparttar 134717 names and email addresses ofrepparttar 134718 persons who wroterepparttar 134719 testimonial to boost credibility (ask them first though). Remember: NEVER fake a testimonial! Not only is it unethical, but it'll show through. And if I'm not mistaken, it is also an illegal practice.

3. Don't link out on your homepage

Keep ALL links on your homepage internal. In other words, don't give visitors a way out so they wont leave as soon as they arrive.

4. Make your headline stand out

Your homepage headline should be in large font type, and very attention grabbing, while atrepparttar 134720 same time hype-free. Study some great sales letters you've come across onrepparttar 134721 Web. You'll soon realize that one ofrepparttar 134722 things they all have in common is a headline that just makes you WANT to know more about whatever product/service is being offered.

5. Work on your copy

The most powerful selling tool at your disposal are WORDS. You need to get your copy perfectly tight (especiallyrepparttar 134723 homepage). This is not an overnight process. It takes several weeks (and even longer) of trial and error to get it right. Check your log files after each change to find out how many people leave your site via your homepage. Make it your mission to reduce this number, until you've hit such "tightness" that you can't get it any better. Take some free online copy writing courses to learn how to improve your copy (I've listed a couple on my site). Whatever you do, write for your TARGET audience!

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