Who doesn’t want a great looking website?
The main thing to remember when you are starting out is that ANY website is better than NO website!
It seems that so many new online business owners get hung up on the layout of their site. Or the color combos. Or the copy. It can be a real deterrent in getting the biz up and running.
Don’t let that stop you!
There are a few unwritten rules to abide by but nothing is written in stone. Let me give you a few!
First, just in case you are unaware of the language, here’s some of the most used lingo:
Header – This is just what it says. The heading of your site. On mine, you will see simply Martha Giffen, my picture and what my site is all about.
Sidebar – Again, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Everything you see over on the right side of my site is called the side-bar. I am using two columns over there. Some people use a sidebar on both sides of their main copy.
Above-the-fold – This is a term that is used to describe what your reader sees when they initially log on to your site. Think of it like a written letter or document. When you fold the paper into three equal parts, what you see on the top third of the page would be “above the fold.”
On to the good stuff. . . . .
Keep it simple. Too much on your home page can be a distraction to your readers!
About the header . . . .
Always use a head shot. People underestimate this one feature. I know, you don’t like having your picture made. Get over it! People buy from people they know, like, and trust. They can’t get to “know” you if you are hiding behind your logo. The logo can be in the header, but your picture needs to be there too. It’s important. Do it!
What do you do? I know, it seems elementary, but some people forget to let their readers know the purpose of their site. Spell it out. In the header. Tell them why you are here and what you can do for them. In a short, concise way!
Above-the-fold stuff. . . . .
The first few seconds a new readers lands on your home page are the most crucial. You want to keep them there. Soooo, have interesting and relevant content at the very beginning.
If you are giving away something free (and you should be!), have it displayed prominently. And, have an opt-in box where they can sign up to get notices with more great content from you. Mine is in the upper right hand corner. Let me also say that a graphic is a nice touch. I am in the process of adding one
Remember, it’s all about them! Have items above the fold that your reader is looking for. The beginning of your written content will be center-stage and prominent. Work on those headlines! Let them entertain!
We are a visual society. Consider using a picture slide show, rotating pictures (what I have) or a video. Those are attention-grabbers and they work!
The bottom line. . . .
Get the site up. It doesn’t have to be in it’s final form. Tweak it as you go. Follow a few tried-and-true tips and get out there and get the most bang for your buck!