Face it.  There are tons of websites out there but very few that actually pull their weight and get results.  Effective website design is not easy.  If it was, every business that put up a website would realize enormous success.  It takes many different skill sets to pull together a killer website.

That being said, here is a list of website design sins for your edification.  Consider these deeply and I highly recommend you make sure your website doesn’t commit them.

Website Sin # 1 – Website does not have a crystal clear objective.  Why do you have or want to have a website in the first place?  What do you want it to do for your business?

Website Sin #2 – No clear call to action.  This sin dovetails on the previous one.  Once you are clear on your website’s objective, make it real clear to your visitor what action you want them to take.  Clearly spell it out.  Trust me, leave no room for interpretation.

Website Sin #3 – Website does not have a means to capture visitor’s contact information.  You are missing a tremendous opportunity to gather prospects who are clearly interested in what you have to offer – hence qualified prospects to market to going forward.  Do whatever it takes here.  Offer what we call an “ethical bribe” in exchange for their contact information.

Website Sin #4 – Website doesn’t give visitors a reason to come back.  Unless your website is a one-time sales website, you must keep it chock full of new and great content to keep it producing for you.

Website Sin #5 – Website has no substance, all style.  Dovetailing on the previous sin, focus should be more on adding valuable content as opposed to having flashy animations.  Flashy animations may wow your visitors once (if you’re lucky), but great content starts building a relationship or dare I say a dependency on you.  Bottom line you’re adding value to your prospects.

Website Sin #6 – Website has an “it’s all about me” mentality.  Keep the copy conversational in tone and focus clearly on what’s in it for your visitor.  Make them feel that it’s all about them – make them feel special.

Website Sin #7 – Website is inconsistent with your “Brand”.  Your website does not have to be the best looking site out there.  It is far more critical to be consistent (same overall look, feel and design as your other marketing materials).

These next three sins are absolutely inexcusable and should not require much explanation.  Nothing will frustrate your visitor more and detract from your credibility faster.

Website Sin #8 – Poor or inconsistent navigation.  Don’t make people think.  Make it real easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.

Website Sin #9 – Dead links.  This is a credibility killer.  Always do what you say you’re going to do.  It is amazing what people can read into a dead link – the worst being that you simply don’t care enough about you visitor.

Website Sin #10 – Slow website.  I know, it’s hard to believe but not everyone is using high speed broadband Internet connections yet.  A little compassion here goes a long way.

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