Entry By Jason Brick
One of the best ways to ruin a company is to have excellent marketing and terrible service. Similarly, you can spoil some of the best text message marketing by having it lead to a second-rate website (check here for mobile web design tips!).
Some Web concepts vary from market to market, industry to industry -- but others are the same whether you're selling legal advice or custom widgets. Does your site violate any of these best home page practices?
Keep it Simple
The KISS principal applies to electronic advertising just as it does to print. You can have a lot of information, even complex information, spread over several pages -- just keep the elements on any given page to a minimum.
Avoid the Dreaded Text Wall
Break up any text on your page with bullet points, subheads and line breaks. The human brain reads words on a screen differently than on paper. Make it easy to skim through your content, since that's what your reader's body wants to do.
Use High Quality, Legal Graphics
A photo, chart or other pictorial element does a lot to make a page stand out and get read -- but don't just use any old graphic. A bad photo is worse than no photo at all. So are stolen photos. No matter how easy it is to download and use a random photo from the Web, somebody is bound to notice. Use graphics only with permission and proper attribution.
Love Your FAQ and About Pages
On many sub-par websites, these informational pages are obviously an afterthought: generic and thin marketing information recast from a brochure. The best sites embrace these sections as a way to break free of the anonymity of web commerce. Be informative, fun, even quirky with these. Let your personality and company culture shine through.
It's tempting to load your site with widgets, games and acres of content. Though this works for a few content-based business models, most of the time those extras simply distract visitors. Always remember the goal of your page, and offer few -- if any -- options that lead readers away from that goal.
Post Your Contact Info Proudly
The purpose of your page is to get prospective customers to become paying clients. They can't do that without knowing how to contact you. Whether that contact is personal communication, or an anonymous Internet purchase, make it clear and easy how to make that happen. Don't hide these options at the bottom of a text wall or behind several click-thrus.