Simple Navigation / Layout
It's very easy to make your web site hard to understand. I'm sure you've been frustrated at some web sites when you finally stumbled upon what you were looking for, but then couldn't get back to where you started, or you tried to go back the next day to a site of interest but couldn't find what you wanted again.
Successful web sites can have hundreds of pages like http://www.microsoft.com or can just consist of an index page that gives your entire sales pitch and an order form. If you only have one product, the fewer pages you have the better, in general. Your web page arrangement could look like this:
The main thing is to keep your pages in a logical order, and explain each link in detail so your reader knows the benefits of clicking on them. You should give a link back to your starting page on almost every other page as well, so the reader can go back to the start at any time.
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR LINKS:
It's a good idea to follow the basic design that is used on most other web pages so readers will know what to expect. If you try to get tricky, they might not 'get it'. My pet peeve is non-descriptive graphics that are made into links except that you can't really tell. Have you ever been at a web page and not been able to find a link to click to go somewhere else? That's bad web design!
If you are using graphics as links make them obvious. Say 'click here' on them, or give a text link underneath them. Text links are universally recognized as links, which is the benefit of them.
is the most obvious way to spell it out, so don't discount it.
Picture links like the one above are also fine, as long as it's obvious what they are and where they go. Be sure to spell out what your links are for.
WHERE TO PUT YOUR LINKS
It's important to be consistent throughout your web site. Don't make every page a brand new experience for the reader... Design most of the pages to have the same overall look.
You can put links across the top of the page:
At the bottom of the page:
Products | Services | More Info | Free Reports | Order
... And combine any of them as well. The main point is to make them consistent and easy to understand.
DON'T HIDE THE ORDER FORM
Crucial: Make it EASY to find your order form(s) ! In fact, put links to your order forms practically everywhere. And don't just say "Order Form"... Say, "Click Here Now To Receive XXX At Absolutely No Risk!"
You need to tell your read exactly what to do and specifically direct them to the products you wan them to buy.
PINBALL MACHINE EFFECT
There's a lot of talk about providing free information to your readers to get them to come and to get them to stay. Unfortunately, most people do it incorrectly. Don't just send your readers off to read 100 pages of 'free reports', especially if they don't have much to do with what you are offering.
Provide free information or advice, then at the end of the article steer them towards your order form, or explain why your product solves the dilemma they're having. Just throwing tons of information online doesn't necessarily make sales.
GAIN THEIR TRUST
The other benefit of giving free information is to get the reader to trust you. If you are generous and help them out by providing free help (which hopefully also makes you look like an expert), they'll stop thinking of you as a person out to make a sale and start thinking of you as a person who wants to help them out. By lowering their defenses, you can increase the chances they'll buy from you.
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