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Articles7 Elements of a Highly Effective Website
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Website design these days can take the shape of many forms, shapes, designs and animations. You can have a highly rich website with lots of information and content or you can have lots of animation with little or no text. It is important to decide what is best for your business outside of the traditional newspaper and flyer advertising.

Many people today, including me, want to use the web to find more information about a company. For example, this is especially true when going to a restaurant that you have never been to. What is the atmosphere like? What is on the menu? What are the hours of operation? A good website (and ratings) will help to alleviate the concern of the unknown and offer a more friendly approach to finding out more information about a business before you decide to go.

I have comprised seven elements that I feel go into a good well informed website:

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#1: Conveying the Message
In some form, your website will have to convey a meaning or message on what that product/service or information is all about. This is done effectively through images, animations and most importantly written text. You cannot assume your visitor will understand anything so it needs to be explained not from your point of view but from a point of view that they have no idea of what you do or anything about your business.

#2: Organized and Presented Well
How well the information on your website being presented can be a big factor on retaining your visitors. Pretend you are the visitor. Once you are done with one page, do you want to move on to the next? Does the website make you want to know more or are you just done after looking at the front page. Make sure the website sends a clear message on each page and invites the user to read on.

#3: Instant Eye Catching Graphics
Most people see things in a visual way so when they find your website does it catch their eye? Is it inviting and even better mesmerizing. This gives you an excellent visual perspective on how your company presents itself. Written text is good, animation is good but sometimes a simple eye catching graphics surpasses both of those.

#4: User Friendly Navigation
This goes kind of in hand with #2. Is it easy to navigate the website or do you feel you need to call the company owner to find product information? Is it very hard to find a FAQ or online technical support? These are areas that I want to quickly access to either ask for questions or ask for additional information without digging too far and getting confused.

#5: Target Audience
You may be a local accounting firm and your target audience may be local. You may sell widgets and your target audience may be the country. You may sell software and your target audience may be everywhere. You target audience may also be your existing customer base so they have somewhere to go when they want more information or to quickly look you up. If you are a service orientated industry, with the flood of new websites going up each day, it is actually better to cater to a local crowd then to try and get a new customer from the opposite side of the planet. This does work if you are e-commerce but again this depends on the type of business you are promoting. If you are selling something a wider market is better, if you are promoting a service then a more local market is preferred. Focus on how the public will view your website, not just yourself. Keep this in mind, very important.

#6: Easily Found Contact/Support Info
Now that someone has gone through your website and is ready to contact you for some more information, work or to book a dinner reservation, I have found it very unfriendly to have to search and search and search only to finally find a contact form. Sometimes, the contact form does not even work. This is one area that is crucial because your visitor will leave if you submit an inquiry and it shows a strange error message. Leaving a phone number is also much nicer than hoping you will get a return email from someone out there in cyberspace land.

#7: Extra Little Fun Stuff
Now that you have conveyed the message and the meaning, having an area where customers can come and have a little fun never hurts. This not only adds dimension to your website but also keeps people staying longer.

*Please Note: Web design and improvement is a never ending process due to the changing technology in which people are using to view them. There will always be ways to improve your website as long as time and budget allows. Here is also some basic information about website costs about getting started!

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