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Kristopher Crockett Oct 5, 2015 8:00:00 PM 3 min read

Website Design: What to Do and What Not to Do

How your website is put together will spell the difference between capturing your visitor’s attention and having them leave to go to another site. The average attention span of a new visitor to a website is approximately 2 minutes and a half, and in that time, you need to convince such a visitor that they came to the right site. How do you do this?

Keeping site visitors glued to your website is not as difficult as it may seem. As long as you have what they need and you have a site that is not difficult to use, you can be assured of traffic that won’t scamper away a few minutes after finding you. What is a site that is not difficult to use? Here are some things to consider.

Do keep things simple – not everyone who comes to your website is tech-savvy, therefore a complex website is out of the question. Overly complicated websites scare people, and your goal is to attract visitors not scare them away. In order to remember that you need to avoid such a problem, think KISS – Keep it sharp & simple. Make it sharp enough to show you know what you are talking about, yet simple enough for the common man to understand.

Don’t aim to impress, but aim to serve – if you set a goal to impress people about what you can offer, you will have a tendency to create a site that is over-complicated and complex. Think more in terms of giving your target market what they need rather than giving them what you think will impress them. If you have what they require and you present it in a manner that is easy for them to grasp, there is no need for all the bells and whistles.

Do find the colors that match your company and target market – color psychology is something that is used in branding and marketing. Since the main goal of your website is to attract the kind of market that will translate to sales for your company, you need to choose your site’s colors carefully. Apart from finding the best colors to induce the need to purchase from you, you also need to ensure that the colors you use on your site catch the eye and are not loud or too bright. Find out what colors best evokes the emotion you want your market to feel when they come to your site and use those.

Don’t be too colorful – unless you are selling rainbows and unicorns, or anything associated with these, having a site that is chock-full of color can be considered an eye-sore and may even induce headaches. Try to keep the number of colors you use for your webpages to a manageable minimum.

Do write for your audience and don’t write for an algorithm – one component of a good website, and its design for that matter, is what people can read on it. Good content is crucial to your website’s success, so killer copywriting is a must for this. What some people have been doing lately however is to write for search engines, and this is for a specific reason. If a search engine deems your site to be a good match for what people are looking for, your site will show up at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), which is often where people look and click to find what they need. While this may bring in people, it does not guarantee they will stay, particularly if what you write does not appeal to them and is more of a way to just get ranked. Ranking is good, it is what most websites need to get ahead, but if your content is not meant for readers, you will only succeed in increasing your bounce rate and not your revenues.