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What NOT to have on your Web site

When it comes to your company's Web site, there's no shortage of advice on what you absolutely have to have there.

But little is often said about those elements that should never see the light of day. And that's too bad, because poor planning and neglect of your Web site can lead to lost business, security concerns, slow traffic and other problems.

However, Web site missteps are preventable. Here are nine items to avoid.

  • Your photo on the home page. It's true. Many Web experts say that, although your picture may seem an element of welcome, it can detract from why the visitor should be there in the first place. 'It's like meeting someone new and – instead of asking them how they are – saying 'I'm doing great!' Your Web site should be all about the viewer, not about you. You need to first get them interested.
  • Visual (and audio) overkill. This can take any number of forms. On the one hand, it can show up as a dizziness–inducing Flash home page or pictures of everything from clients to your pet ferret. The former often comes off as little more than a pointless exercise of technical muscle, the latter a confusing – and potentially unprofessional – distraction from the business at hand. Beyond that, overly flashy intros with loud, pulsating music can take forever to load and cause users to flee.
  • Too many confusing menu options. Your Web site structure should be simple so that users are not bewildered by too many possibilities. Don't have a menu of 20 options to choose from. People can hold between five and nine pieces of information in their memory at once. Don't exceed this limit or they're going to get overwhelmed and leave your site.
  • Information that could lead to privacy or security breaches. This depends, to some degree, on the nature of your Web site and business, and perhaps also on your personal comfort level. But it is imperative that you review your Web site content for any material that may lead to security or privacy snafus, as hackers and spammers are constantly scanning for Web sites underlying technologies used on a site.
  • Information that could tip off competitors. People responsible for programming company information on Web sites should "think like thieves." That way, they are less likely to program information that competitors might steal or use in their own intelligence gathering.

    Certain bits of information might seem innocuous on their own, but when pieced together could reveal more than you want about your business practices, strategic partners, corporate clients, and your internal organization.
  • Undue jargon and techno-speak. Keep your copy and content straightforward – if need be, have a non-expert review it for clarity. Jargon or "blather' is commonplace on the Internet. But it interferes with the prospect's positive perception of your honesty, integrity and quality.
  • Content that makes your business sound too good to be true. Sure, you're trying to sell something via your Web site.  But marketing content - including product pitches and customer testimonials - that boasts and brags more than it informs and interests people is certain to turn off many a visitor.  Don't make your Web site an ad. Make it an interactive conversation with your audience.
  • Unsupervised chat boards. If you want a chat area, plan on using a moderator who approves every submission beforehand. This avoids spam, off-color comments, potential security breaches, and other headaches.
  • Bad links and outdated material. Nothing can mislead or alienate your visitor's more than basic business information and other content that's obviously outdated or long since irrelevant. Same with links that send users to error pages. Review your Web site regularly for content and links that have changed or gone the way of mood rings and pet rocks.

Click here to discuss more about developing a Web site, or call:

(281) 829.0223 or information@allstarsb2b.com
Houston, Texas

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