Copyright 2006 Titus Hoskins
What makes for a great webpage?
Wouldn’t you like to know the main ingredients for creating a superior webpage? What basic elements you must have if you want a solidly designed webpage? A webpage that will stand out and be noticed by your visitors. One that will keep those visitors returning to your site, again and again. An effective webpage that is 95% better than most of the other pages on the Net.
Follow these simple design features when creating your next webpage and you will have the answer:
1. Good Keywords
The nucleus. The conception. Good keywords are the very first building blocks you must consider before your webpage even becomes a dim notion in your head. Picking the right keyword or keyword phrase is the ultimate factor that will determine the success or failure of your webpage. You must do major research on the keyword or keyword phrases that will be the focal point and drawing card for your webpage.
You must get this right. It is vital. It is the single most important element of a webpage. You can use keyword research software and sites such as GoodKeywords, Wordtracker.com, Nichebot.com, or superior keyword research software such as Brad Callen’s Keyword Elite.
Regardless of what process you favor, you must choose your keywords very carefully. You must check the competition for your chosen keywords or phrase. You must check the number of searches made each month for your keyword. You must also check the keyword density of your page to see if it will register in the search engines. You may have to adjust or fine-tune your keyword density at a later date.
Make sure you place your keyword in the title of your page. Place it in the first Headline on the page and many marketers also place their keyword or phrase in the url. For example: www.yourdomain.com/keyword.html This will help the search engines and surfers to find your page quicker.
2. Simple Design
Keep it simple. You must keep your webpage simple and direct. Keep it professional. Make sure it is readable and clear to all your visitors. Do a spell check. Do a grammar check. You may also want to check how your webpage looks in all types of browsers. (www.anybrowser.com) Better safe than sorry.
Keep your visitors in mind at all times when designing your webpage. Keep it on topic, keep it related to your keywords. Most marketing studies show that’s it’s best not to confuse your visitors with too many options. If you’re selling a product or products, limit the number on each page to one product if you can.
If you have a comparison page, limit the number to three or four. Studies also show that if you present too many options or products, the conversion rate goes down, not up. Keep all your products related. If you have a page on laptops, don’t start discussing the benefits of owning a SUV.
Keep your sentences short and the number of words on a page down to 200 to 300. Many sites break up longer articles into multi-pages, this will be of some inconvenience for your visitors but you will have more room for advertising, your call.
Let’s face it, the average webpage will get most of its traffic from the search engines, mainly Google, although MSN and Yahoo are also worth considering. Optimize your page for Google. Use a simple hierarchy, keep your pages no more than three clicks away from the main page. Linking all your pages to your index page is a good practice, always do this. The search engines will find your page faster if it is linked directly from the main index page of your site.
Using blogging software/structure that comes with such free blogging software as WordPress will optimize your pages for you. Blogging systems have a linking hierarchy (categories, archives, etc.) that are very search engine friendly. It’s almost impossible not to optimize your pages if you’re using a blogging system. Plus, you have an RSS feed that will syndicate your content and place it into the search engines very quickly.
Check factors such as Mega Tags, title description and content. Use a robots text file for the search engine robots.
If you’re new to building webpages, you may want to check out Google’s Webpage Creator, you can create your pages and have it hosted free by Google and they will be indexed immediately in Google. Big Plus! http://www.pages.google.com
4. Easy Navigation
A great webpage will have easy and simple navigation. Link your page to and from your main index page if you can. Make sure you link to it from your sitemap page. Many webmasters put all the main links on their site at the top or the bottom of all their webpages, so that a visitor can freely move around and find what they’re looking for. Keep your visitors’ comfort level in mind at all times.
Double check to see all links on your webpage work! You may be surprised how many don’t work, especially if you link out to other sites. The search engines don’t like broken links, neither will your visitors.
Also double check to see if all images on your page display properly. Nothing will bring down the quality of your page than images that don’t load.
5. Fresh Content
A great webpage will always have fresh content. Make sure you update your webpage often. Our world’s technology changes rapidly, make sure your material is current and still revelant.
Remember, 9 times out of 10, the only reason a visitor is on your page is for information. Make sure you deliver. Make sure that information is recent and accurate. Besides, there is nothing like fresh content to keep your visitors interested and coming back for more.
A great webpage will always be bookmarkable. Your visitor will want to bookmark your page and return to it for more information. Make sure you make it easy for your visitor to bookmark your page. Use a bookmark script. Make sure you have a favicon, this is a small logo you place on your site and it will be automatically picked up and displayed in your visitor’s bookmarks, drawing attention to your page. Consider a bookmark and favicon like bread crumbs, all leading the visitor back to your page.
Every great webpage should have a WOW factor! Try to make your page stand out from the crowd. Try to make it unique, try to make it cool. Just remember, a simple professional webpage with valuable information is always cool. And remember there is nothing like a little good ‘word of mouth’ to get some traffic drawing PR for your page. Great buzz about your webpage is worth its worth in gold.
So the next time you’re designing a webpage, go all out and try to create your webpage with all of the characteristics listed above. Start with your keywords, keep it simple, proof-read and test for coding errors, create good navigation and optimize for the search engines, make sure you provide valuable fresh content and information. Last but not least, try your hardest to make your webpage memorable and bookmarkable. Make it a professional webpage that will be superior to the majority of other pages on the web.
Aim high and you will reap the rewards.