Beautiful or Profitable

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Do you want your website to look beautiful? Or do you want it to be profitable?

Many website designers were trained as graphic designers, and they can produce sites that look good but don't result in sales. Here's why.

Sites should be:

  • Quick to load; not irritating to users.
  • Search engine-friendly, so that they can be found.
  • Easy to navigate to find product pages.

However, certain web design techniques will result in problems that give rise to the opposite of the above. The causes of these problems include:

Use of 'frames'

Using 'frames' technology will often lead to search engines being unable to find the content on your site. So there little chance of your site being placed high on the search engines' results. It is possible to have a site using frames which is still accessible to search engines, but it has to be especially designed for the purpose.

Use of 'Flash' and excessive use of images

Nearly all search engines do not understand Flash, so may never get past a Flash doorway page to your site. In addition, visitors to your site may merely see the Flash page as a barrier to getting to the real content.

Large numbers of images will slow down your site. Sometimes sites are designed with whole pages constructed from images. Search engines will not be able to analyse the content of these pages.

Poor navigation

It should be easy for someone to get round the site and find what they want! The navigation should be implemented so that search engines can follow the links and find all the pages in your site!

Failure to emphasize benefits

Always make sure that your site emphasizes the benefits that you can provide to the potential customer, and why they should buy from you rather than go elsewhere. Think in terms of what the site user is looking for.

Read more about how web design can affect search engine rankings.

There are a number of specific techniques which will cause your site to figure higher in search engines' results. These techniques change over time. specialise in producing web pages which are "search engine friendly". This is known as search engine optimisation.

Publication Date: Monday 27th June, 2005
Author: Rajiv Menon View profile

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