One of primary keys to a successful website is a good design. A poorly designed site actually discourages visitors from even getting to your site, and to leave quickly when (and if) they arrive. A well designed site encourages people to visit and to remain once they find it. In fact, best designed sites encourage communication, which in turn causes people to continue to visit time after time.
So what is this thing called a "well designed web site"? In concept it can be summarized in a few words:
"A well designed web site communicates and encourages communication."
It's as simple as this statement implies. However, implications of this statement are far reaching and critical to success of your web site. For example, one of critical questions to ask yourself when you are designing your site is "who and what are you communicating with?" Why is this important? Because in addition to your visitors with their complex requirements, you area also communicating with search engine spiders, internet mapping routines and other automated tools. These are critically important to success of your site.
Okay, so what do you need to do to make your site communicate to everyone and everything possible? Some suggestions are listed below.
Design Your Site
Before you do anything, sit down and think about your site. Virtually all successful projects begin with good planning, analysis and design work. Leave out these steps and you may find yourself reimplementing your site over and over. Think it takes too long? Well, I have a question for you: "why is it everyone has time to do it over but over time to do it right?"
To make your site communicate better to those people (and search engine spiders_ who do not view graphics, be sure and include ALT tags with each image.
You want to tell search engines (and other spiders) about your site? Include proper Metatags on each page. This helps improve your rankings on some search engines.
Be sure that your navigation makes sense. Help your visitors get around on your site by making it easy for them to find things.