November 21, 2011 | last updated May 16, 2012 4:37 pm

10 Things I Know About Good Web Design

10. KEEP IT SIMPLE

Life's complicated enough without trying to figure out how to use a website. Keep the design simple, straightforward and easy to use.

9. KEEP PAGE NAMES SIMPLE

People are used to looking for familiar page names on a site, such as About Us, Products and Services. Trying to be clever or cute can frustrate visitors looking for specific information.

8. BE REASONABLE ABOUT SEO

But if you insist on packing your content with keywords as often as possible for the sake of search engine optimization (SEO), it can result in less valuable content and an unsatisfactory visitor experience.

7. USE HYPERLINKS PROPERLY

Hyperlinks are a great way to build value and search ranking. Use them to help visitors access parts of your site easier and to build linking relationships with appropriate websites

6. USE INTUITIVE NAVIGATION

Structure your site so there is a natural progression to the pages. Start with general pages and enable visitors to drill down to get more specific information.

5. SPEAK CLEARLY

Content is still king, so make sure yours is easy to read and understand. Avoid jargon and acronyms.

4. THINK MOBILE

Within the next year or two, most people will access the web with mobile devices. Make sure your site provides a good visitor experience using limited bandwidth and a small screen.

3. GIVE A CALL TO ACTION

If you want people to take the next step and contact you, include a call to action, such as "Sign up for our free newsletter.

2. UPDATE FREQUENTLY

To give people a reason to return, and to improve your search rankings, be sure to update your site regularly. Even a seasonal message can help.

1. RESPECT YOUR VISITORS

Nothing will hurt your site or reputation more than a lousy website experience. Be helpful, courteous and generous.

Matt Ward is president of InConcert Web Solutions in Gardner. Email him at matt@inconcertweb.com.

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