Let's run down the things you should do and the things you shouldn't do with your website design.
* Check that your website is compatible with the major browsers. These include IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome.
* Simplify your website design as much as possible. Taking a "kitchen sink" approach makes for a cluttered appearance and confusing navigation.
* Speed up the loading time of your site's pages by minimizing or eliminating flash, graphics and unused scripts.
* Only publish content that adds value for your visitors.
* When linking to another site, have it open in a new window. When linking to another page on your site, open it in the same window.
* Proofread and "spell check" your content. Grammatical and spelling errors lower the quality of content and reduce the perception of its authority.
* Be sure your website design includes clear and simple navigation.
* Do not write for the search engines. Cramming your content full of keywords at the expense of readability will lower your visitors' opinion as well as the value of your site.
* Don't go overboard with Flash. The "wow" factor here is almost non-existent now, and many people now find that Flash is just an annoying delay.
* Do not plagiarize or copy content from other sites. The search engines can detect duplicate content and will penalize your site for it.
* Don't quit. Keep tweaking, testing, and improving your site.
Website design is equal parts art and science and it's very rare to just set up a "plug and play" website. Follow these tips and you'll be on your way to building a site that attracts both traffic and conversions.
Avoiding the common mistakes made by many who build their own websites can save you a ton of time and money. By following a couple website design basics you can get started quickly, efficiently, and start generating traffic and conversions as quickly as possible.
Here are a few website design basics to keep in mind while you get started:
* Be smart about your company name – Try to go with a company name that is somewhat unique. For instance, naming your company after your favorite song will put you in direct competition with that song on the search engines. An example would be naming a company "Uptown Girl". While it may be a great name for a women's clothing company, that search engine listing is going to be occupied by Billy Joel's song for pages on end.
* Focus on delivering quality information to your visitors – Your website traffic is an extremely valuable asset. Don't squander it by offering unprofessional content or text that is crammed with keywords because it has been written solely for the search engines. Your keywords have to be incorporated in your content but make sure that the content reads as if it has been written by a professional.
* Make it very clear for your visitors that they have landed on a page that is relevant to their search term – If the search term your visitors have used to find you is " Vintage oval mirrors" make sure that the words " Vintage oval mirrors" are the first thing they see when they land on your page. Images of oval mirrors are a good thing too.
While this is short list, these three website design basics can go a long way to launching your site toward the fastest and most efficient start possible.