10 Best Practices Guide for Web Sites and Online Stores


10 Best Practices Guide for Web Sites and Online Stores

Websites and online stores lose, on average, 40% of turnover due to problems and difficulties of use. Not only in times of crisis is an unforgivable waste for any company. This "Best Practice Guide for Websites and Online Stores" allows you to:

10 best practices guide for web sites and online stores

1 - The Home page convinces the visitor in 10 seconds?

That's right: 10 seconds is the limit of time that a visitor invests in a home page (or webpage) to find something that can match what he is looking for (an information, a product, a contact, etc.).

Good practices:

  • Company logo / website;
  • Company name / website;
  • Summary of the benefit and branch / activities of your company;
  • The information, products, services you find on the site;
  • Search;
  • Subscription services: newsletter, online store, etc.;

What to avoid:

  • Entry pages (even if the aim is the choice of language!);
  • Windows that open automatically;
  • Uploading files in flash;
  • Music.

2 - Is the site easy to navigate?

Browsing is visitor activity when moving through web pages. Poor navigability is responsible for 80% of usability problems. An "easy navigation" means that the user finds the contents organized and designated correctly and in his perspective.

During navigation you should at all times know where you come from, where you are and where to "go". All areas must be permanently accessible through fixed menus, that is, links that never disappear.

Good practices:

  • Various navigation menus;
  • Separation of content types;
  • Placing the menus in the respective navigation bars.

This should be avoided:

  • Menus that change or disappear;
  • Animated menus that take time to open or close;
  • Sub-menus with 3 or more levels;

3 - Are the contents accessible in 3 clicks?

It seems impossible, but all contents (products, services, relevant information), must be within 3 (yes, 3) clicks. This not only requires an excellent structure of the contents, but also in the application of the concepts of good navigability, since a link to a "wrong" content also counts.

Good practices:

  • Structuring the contents into categories up to 3 levels of hierarchy;
  • Create direct links (deep links) to categories or contents in subhierarchies;
  • Identify popular content and place it on the home page;
  • Providing a search;
  • Apply the concepts of good navigability.

What to avoid:

  • Categories with many levels;
  • Do not overload the pages with content;
  • Confusing category names and content;

4 - Are the texts legible?

The font size and contrast should allow easy reading by potential groups of users. The higher the age range, the larger the font size and contrast. And visitors who can't read the content, give up and leave the site.

Best practices:

  • Sans-Serif" font, such as Arial or Verdana (see explanation on Sans-serif in Wikipedia);
  • Appropriate size for the age group;
  • Contrast: Dark letter on light background (ideal is black on white);
  • Allow the user to copy or print the text;

Which you should avoid:

  • Text in Serif;
  • Small font size;
  • Weak contrast in letter and background;
  • Unreadable images.

5 - Do images help to communicate?

But images should also contribute to good online communication and allow easy "reading".

Good practices:

  • Showing in the images the essential through the application of the "smart cut" technique, the smarter crop. (More information about smarter crop);
  • Treat the images to have a professional look (Learn how to treat images);
  • Take the backgrounds and "clean" images (Learn how to take the backgrounds of images);
  • Apply effects that enhance products or services (How to apply a reflex)

Which you should avoid:

  • Images only decorative and unrelated to the content;
  • Bad quality images;
  • Images with backgrounds that do not match the website;
  • Images that devalue your products or services.

6 - The texts have been adapted for the Web

The texts published on your website, must be adapted to read on screen and to the Internet environment. The same client, who spends a lot of time leafing through a brochure, consults his website with concrete objectives and in search of specific information. And this time, without time and patience. Learn how the Internet has changed Copywriting.

The good practices:

  • User-oriented content;
  • Headlines should get visitors' attention;
  • Structure the contents well;
  • Write short sentences;
  • Use simple words;
  • Write informative content;

What you should avoid:

  • Use texts not designed for the Web;
  • Use a commercial and subjective language;
  • Omit information;

7 - Does the site make proper use of animations?

The animations, mostly conceived in Flash technology, should enrich the information and use of the website, for example a film that helps to know the potential of a product. A website entirely built with this technology usually hinders navigability (read "usability"), by not applying standards of browsers that users know how to use (for example the elevator to navigate a content up or down).

On the other hand, it hinders visibility in search engines like Google, since they do not find a physical page for each content. And only in recent versions of Flash, search engines can index content. The contents of websites built in previous versions are simply hidden for search engines, and for web users.

10 best practices guide for web sites and online stores

I don't want to let the impression be a fundamentalist against Flash technology, because in reality it's quite the opposite. Without this technology, the Web wouldn't have websites like You Tube or fantastic presentations in sound and image.

The best practices:

  • Use animation only to enhance communication in specific situations;
  • Illustrate the operation of products or services through tutorials and manuals;
  • Show videos or films with Flash technology;
  • Make interactive games available.

What you should avoid:

  • Sites entirely with Flash content;
  • Text content in Flash;
  • Flash navigation menus;
  • Use more than one animation at a time;

8 - Is there legal information and content that generates trust?

The Internet is a virtual space, even too virtual for many tastes. The abuse of anonymity, swindling and other experiences generates a natural distrust in users, which each company has to break online on its site. This applies especially in online stores.

Good practices:

  • Identify and highlight the existence of the company:
  • Address
  • Telephone and fax
  • Company registration
  • Put the address and telephone number in the footer on all pages (yes, on all)
  • Present with transparency the terms and conditions;
  • Apply standards in the shopping cart.

What you should avoid:

  • Make it difficult to find contacts, address, among others;
  • Only provide the number of a mobile phone;
  • Use only an email type "@hotmail.com" or "@gmail.com";
  • Omitting mandatory information (for online stores, the terms and conditions).

9 - Is the general presentation professional and does it match your company's image?

One of the oldest and most used phrases by those selling websites is: "Your website is your company's business card on the Web". In practice, and I apologize for the work of other consultants, agencies or freelancers in this way, it seems that most of these vendors do not remember your slogan. But as for the content of the slogan, I fully agree. Therefore, the evaluation of this criterion is fundamental.

Good practice:

  • Impress, on the positive side, on first contact with the website;
  • Write quality content (rich in information, objectives and information);
  • Use a friendly style of communication;
  • Apply a solid graphic aspect and according to your brand and positioning;
  • Use the logo in perfect condition;
  • Coherence and consistency;
  • Consistency and coherence;
  • Consistency and consistency.
  • NB: The text of the last three points is not by mistake. It simply reflects its importance.

Which you should avoid:

  • Deformed image of your company or brand;
  • Careless appearance;
  • Confusing presentation;
  • Poor" texts in terms of information and writing.

10 - Is the site visible in search engines?

Do a test: search for a term related to your products or services, a term your customers would use. It is certainly not the name of your company. If no references of your website appear on the first two pages of the results, at the most on the third, you will have to pay. Pay Google for AdWords ads.

Best practices:

  • Insert a title, a short description and the relevant and appropriate keywords on every page;
  • Apply a diverse vocabulary, including synonyms;
  • Write quality content;
  • Use links to other content and other sites;
  • Create a Site Map;
  • Submit the site to Google.

What to avoid:

  • Repeat on all pages the company name in the title of the content;
  • Omit the title, short description and keywords;
  • Apply versions of Flash technology that prevent the indexing of content;
  • Not being able to access concrete pages directly through an address. In this case, we can only access the home page and follow the links in the navigation menus.

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