Website issues, or How to build a good website

From our perspective and core competence area, AFS is concerned with three areas and each is concerned with one of our core competences:

Probably the biggest weakness of all is landing pages. Sites do not have the right landing pages. That is because websites are built in a logical manner from the business perspective. It often ignores the search volumes, which exist out there on the net. Our specialism is to find those volume search terms and make sure there is a matching landing page.

Hardly any site exists with the right landing pages when judged from relevant search volume. AFS always can fine-tune a website adding low cost landing pages that will significantly increase conversion and orders.

Paid search: Does the website have all

 

A good website should be:

The toy site on the right looks a mess. Visually that may be so, but normally you have 3 seconds (max) to convince the user to stay on the site. This site actually has all the facilities a user may want and, although it may be criticized, achieves the twin objectives of:

 

It also appeals to both children and grown-ups… with sufficient special offers and what is new and so on.

 

The top menus (two of them), the left-hand side menu, the right hand side display menus and the middle section are just about right in terms of what is offered. There are also though visually the 3 seconds may pass and someone may decide to find the next site.

The Toys-r-us website is simpler more attractive to the eye but actually provides a less good user experience because it does not have the facilities the first site has. That said it has a brandname so well known and powerful that the design of the site is almost irrelevant.

Some design ideas are given below.

 

Ideas of website design
Some design ideas are given below. These were plagiarized from the net. These were taken and modified from: www.mcmanuscreative.com

We do not build websites from scratch. This is not one of our core competences. We can do this but we prefer to stick to making changes to existing sites for the purposes.

 

Strategize

Think through your main page

Follow these rules for every page you build

Before you build or design, make real-word page maps
Plot out exactly what information and functionality you will have on each page. Use real words because good design emphasizes the message. Dummy copy yields dummy design and too many changes later.

Design with an open mind
Begin design only after you have finalized your information and functionality. Do not be surprised if the information and functionality change slightly because of design. That is good. It's called iteration.

Be brutal on the first design review
This is where you say, "I don't really like that color." Or "Could we make that elephant dance?" This is also a time when you could elicit outside opinions. By asking your brother or neighbor to look it over and getting his honest feedback, you are doing a mini-focus group and gathering valuable information that will make the site much stronger than if you rely solely on your own opinion. Do not spare anyone's feelings. It is easier to make changes to design now than it is later.

Revise design as needed
Review the revisions to make sure everything that you wanted actually was done.

Prepare graphics for html
Prepare all graphics (jpgs, gifs, flash files) for the html build of the site. This does not take too long but it is a step that is often overlooked in the schedule.

Build the pages and functionality in html
This can take some time, especially if the html is being built from scratch to match a custom design. Be patient.

Review the actual site

Revise the site
Revise art and html as needed.

Quality assurance
This includes copy-editing, a click through of every link, and test of every function. It should also include, if possible, testing on different browsers and platforms (mac/pc).

Fix bugs
Fix bugs and verify the fix of bugs.

Launch!
Make that sucker live! Send the link out to friends.

Post-launch fixes
Fix any problems that come up when the site is live right away. Mistakes happen; this is why you avoid a marketing blitz on the first day of launch.

Market the site
Place ads for your site in search engines or on appropriate directory sites. Trade links with other sites. Optimize your site for search engine pick up. Submit your site to free directories.

Analyze and optimize
Evaluate how effective your site is at meeting your goals by asking these questions: