Many people fail to understand just how important design of a web site is to your online image. Some simply assume that because they have a great product they'll be automatically successful. But in order to achieve online success, one must have both a wonderful product or service and a great design. This is because people assume that if web design is unprofessional, product is inferior. Just as humans have a tendency to "judge a book by its cover," they also tend to make an association between a business's web site and product.
So, in order to make sure that your web site doesn't express your business inappropriately, here are 10 things you can do:
1 - Lose those banner programs.
Using banner "exchange" programs is like saying to world, "I'm a newbie." When people start a web site, they seem to be automatically drawn to sites like LinkExchange or SmartAge. Perhaps it's promise of traffic for free that does it, but know truth: banner programs, for most part, are worthless when you're just starting out. Avoid temptation to plaster your pages with every banner program you can think of, because it's not going to help you.
2 - Keep your site clean and organized, not "busy!"
Do not, I repeat, do not make your site overwhelmingly "busy." Have you ever visited a site where there were thousands of animated pictures, fluorescent text and colors, crowded pictures, and huge text? Me too. And every time I visit one, I head for "back" button in my browser. Don't run off your visitors without letting them read what you've got to say, or they'll never buy!
3 - Avoid "clip-art" type graphics like plague.
They're totally unprofessional, and scream "don't buy!" Take time to learn how to make your own graphics using whatever program you can get your hands on. We recommend Adobe Photoshop - http://www.adobe.com - if you have money. If you're short on cash, visit Jasc Software to pick up a free demo of Paint Shop Pro - http://www.jasc.com - which is almost as good as Photoshop, but with a MUCH smaller price tag.
4 - Don't talk about yourself!
Sorry, but no one really wants to hear about you. They want to hear about how you can help them and benefits your product or service will provide. Focus on them!