10. Your Window to the world
Your web site is like your business window to the world. It should look as professional and appealing as possible.
Ever noticed how you always walk past some shops in a mall - never giving them a second look? Or how a dirty front window or dusty display of a store keeps you outside?
It's the same on the Internet. A web site that looks unprofessional immediately signals to a customer low quality. Even if you are selling high quality products. Just like in the real world. But there is one big difference.
Unlike in the real world you can create a first class impression without spending more money.
To create a great impression in the real world, you must spend big on building an impressive shop. On the Internet even a small merchant can look big. After all, customers are only looking at web pages. If these are well designed, customer may even perceive you as bigger than you really are.
This is exactly the trick used by many on-line businesses, who have managed to compete successfully with the big boys.
And it is a trick available to you, too. Wether you use shop building software such as ShopFactory with award winning designs provided or spend money on a designer to do this for you.
If you put your business on the Internet, do it properly. Don't risk your reputation with an unprofessional Internet presentation.
Your home page
The first page of your web site - your 'home page' - is like your street window display.
It should look professional - and entice people inside.
Many web sites have a nice logo picture on the first page and nothing else. New visitors have to guess what the website is about.
You would rarely see a shop in the real world not using the street window to let people quickly know what they have on offer.
Don't think the Internet is different. Just as people can quickly walk past a shop in a mall, they can quickly move on on the Net.
Proefssional design however does not mean lots of gimmicks. A clean lay-out, a single image and some interesting text work much better than some overloaded pages, which appear confusing and give no clear idea of what the site is all about.