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If You're Making These Web Site Mistakes, You're Scaring Prospects Away

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Author: Francis Lui


The design of a Web site is important. If you're making these mistakes, you may be scaring your prospects away. You want your Web site easy to use. Prospects should feel in control of your Web site, not intimidated by it.

What are some mistakes when designing a Web site? The first one is...

Mistake #1: Too many menu buttons without grouping them

Having too many menu buttons complicates your Web site and its navigation. A big mistake is listing 20 menu buttons on the side of your page. Your prospects will have to scan the entire list of menu buttons to find what they want. That's tedious.

If you have a lot of menu buttons, it's best to group them. On your menu bar, you can have each menu button bring out a drop-down menu when you move your mouse cursor over them. Microsoft.com has an example of this.

How many menu buttons should you have per group? People's short-term memory can only process about 7 items. So a good rule of thumb is to include about 7 or less. It'll make the navigation of your site easier.

Mistake #2: Using cute and clever menu button labels

Some people like to "think outside the box" when designing menu button labels. For instance, I've seen a Web site use the label, "Who," for the About page. Another site used "Raves" for the Testimonials page.

Those are big mistakes. Instead, they should use the labels "About" and "Testimonials."

When designing menu button labels, you don't want to "think outside the box." Use common labels instead. Yes, it may seem unoriginal, but having "creative" labels confuse the prospect and make the navigation harder. If the prospect wants to find your About page, but can't find it immediately from the menu labels, he may give up and move on to the next site.

Having predictable and common labels make the navigation easier. Your prospect will feel in control when using your Web site.

Mistake #3: Web pages that are too busy

Overloading your web pages with too many flashy banners and colors make the web pages busy and hard to use. It becomes hard for the visitor to find the information she wants. Keep your web pages clean and simple.

A great example of a Web site that's clean and simple is WebSudoku.com. It may look plain, but it's very popular with an Alexa rank of about 7,000 (at the time of this writing). It must be doing something right.

Mistake #4: Font and background color combinations that are hard to read

You don't want your prospect to struggle when trying to read your text. For instance, a bad choice would be yellow text on a white background. The yellow text blends in with the white background and is hard to read.

Choose a font color that's opposite of the background color so the text stands out. Black text on a white background is an excellent combination because black and white are complete opposites of each other. The black text stands out and is easy to read.

Avoid the mistakes in this article when designing your Web site. Instead of intimidating your prospects when they arrive at your site, they'll feel at ease and will more likely stick around.

About the author: Want hard-hitting copy that gets results? Francis Lui is a freelance copywriter who wants to deliver results for you. To learn about his services -- and to read more of his FREE articles -- go to http://www.francislui.com/.


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