Keep it simple. What you should be striving for is a clean, crisp, uncluttered environment free of excessive text, animations, and competing colors. Use clean lines and images only if they help your brand (your company’s identity), or if they tell a story about what you do or sell. Keep text to a minimum and if you want to write volumes, have a blog or additional pages where a visitor can go for “more information”. Pay attention to overall balance…for instance, one column that scrolls forever is not recommended. Make sure the personality of your site reflects you or your business.
Make it easy to contact you. Include office and cell phone numbers and either a contact page to fill out, or a link that opens an email. You should avoid listing your email on your web site in order to decrease the amount of spam you receive. Check e-mail regularly and answer promptly: Anyone who contacts you by e-mail expects a quick response. You should try to respond within a few hours but no later than 48 hours.
Help visitors navigate. Navigation should be consistent and easy to locate throughout your site. There should be a primary navigation, and then different areas for sub-navigation that are smart and strategic. Use “carrots” (strategically placed advertisements for your own services or products) wherever possible to promote other areas of your business.
External links should open a new window. If you list resources, or even advertisements on your site, which lead a user away, make sure that the link launches a new Web browser window or tab and your site remains open in the background. Note: Links can be very useful to you if the site you are linking to will reciprocate. Increasing your placement in search engines relies heavily on links to your site from other sites.
Revisit regularly. Whether you build it yourself or hire a consultant like UplinkSpyder, accept direct responsibility for making sure your Web site functions as planned. Visit at least once a week to make sure all pages load and links work properly. Resolve any problems immediately.
Keep it relevant. Users shy away from sites that remain static. Make it someone’s job to keep the content fresh and relevant. If it’s winter, don’t advertise your summer line. If it’s 2010, don’t have a 2008 copyright. Users these days expect web content to change and more than that, they expect a way to interact with you so if you can have a blog, or links to social media like Facebook, etc…all the better.