Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How To Avoid 10 Minisite Design Mistakes That Is Hurting Your Website

Here are 10 common minisite design mistakes most web owners or webmasters make and how to fix them. Web design factors overlap with design elements and principles in general.

1. Not sitting down to plan your overall minisite structure and site layout including linking and navigation. This is also the best time to start thinking about your search engine marking.

2. Not doing your keyword research from the get go. Don't assume anything; get it right from the right start. Keyword is your rootword or the foundation of your minisite structure. If you miss this crucial step, every other part of your building structure falls apart including search engine optimization. Don't spend time, money and energy on a keyword nobody is searching for. That's a sure way to have a failed web business. Or, some people don't even have a specific keyword or phrase that will attract prospects to their site. Use keyword tools like wordtracker, goodkeyword, overture or google keyword suggestion tool.

3. Don't clutter your minisite with too many distractions like graphics, flash animations, bells, and whistle. All these are good if you want to impress a kindergarten child but bad for your traffic flow and cashflow. Minimize the use of Java scripts, flash animations and graphics. Search engines don't index them well. Just know that search engines love words and keywords or key phrases is what counts and thats what sells. Words are what your visitors use to querry the search engines.

4. Your minisite should load in 8 seconds or less. Beyond this time frame, most visitors lose patience. Sorry, we are in an instant, microwave society and nobody wants to wait. Besides, there is over information and too much to see and navigate, so your visitors are happy to hit the back button.

5. Don't go beyond 750 pixels in your minisite width if you don't want your visitors to scroll from side to side. It is annoying and jars your readers. To solve this problem, use percentage of the screen instead of pixels. Don't make the width too narrow by going less than 650 pixels, either.

6. Don't rely too heavily on WYSIWYG HTML editors like frontpage or mozilla firefox. They tend to draw you web pages to one side of the screen instead of being positioned at the center. It is still necessary to know basic HTML tags or at least what is it that you don't know. One way to correct this error is: div align="center" enlosed in angle brackets as other HTML tags. Or, you can use percentage instead of pixels to center the abnormal shift. More professional coders use cascading style sheet. However, Dreamweaver doesn't normally give this problem.

7. Not knowing and applying "the rule of 3" in minisite design. This rule is like a guide that should be at the back of your mind while doing any design work in a given space. The more you apply this rule, the more dynamic, lifelike and professional your design becomes. Three is the number of trinity. It states that it is safe to use 3 colors, 3 fonts, 3 tables rows, and three design elements in any given space. This rule also applies to your graphic panel design, banner ads and ecovers.

8. Not knowing color contrast and harmony. In other words, your design did not consider color theory and emotion of colors. Never use a dark color on a dark background. Even a light color on a dark background is suspect. It does not print well if you decide to download it. The best contrast is dark on a white background like black or blue on white background. This offers great visual appeal, and readability.(Details about colors are treated in my other articles). Also red is a warm or shouting color--use with caution and use sparingly because it call for attention that why red healines tend to convert better than other colors. Yellow is best suited for highlights. Avoid the use of blacks or gray if your are not advanced in minisite design. Use a lot of white space (negative space) for blending, color contrast and harmony.

9. Don't use welcome in your minisite design. Not only is it overdone and meaningless in your search engine rankings. Go straithttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif to your offer or what your website is about. The visitor has 3 seconds to figure out your site (from your headlines), otherwise they are gone. So, don't confuse them with unnecessary platitudes and pleasantries.

10. Not inserting an opt-in box or lead capture pop-ups in your minisite could make you lose potential customers and money. Even people don't buy, capture their names and email address for follow-up, and relationship building. This is a powerful marketing strategy and lead generation that could be of mutual benefit down the road.

Find how you can avoid minisite design mistakes and learn to design your minisite right from the right start by watching minisite creation videos. Afterall, your ministe is the foundation of your web business. This minisite video tutorial is loaded with design principles, SEO, ebook compilation, PPC ads, testing and tracking your ads, sales letter writing and much, much more clik to find out.

By: Uzo Onukwugha

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