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Top 11 Web Layout Tips for an Effective Website

Whether you code your own website or have someone develop it for you, it's important to check your website's effectiveness. Below are my top tips for an effective website layout.

1. Write great content.

People searching the web are looking for content. Be the website with the answers to your prospects burning questions.

2. A call to action on every page.

Tell your prospects what to do next. Lead them through the process. Don't make them guess - they may guess incorrectly.

3. Use more text than images.

Images cannot be crawled by search engines and therefore cannot help your website ranking. Make sure that all content on your website is textual.

4. Use a standard layout.

People have been trained to find navigation buttons in the left-hand column or across the top of the page. Putting them somewhere else will only frustrate them and they will go to someone else's website.

5. Put contact information on every page.

You want to make sure that your contact information is available on every page. This way the user doesn't have to navigate away from the page that caused the reader to contact you. You want them to have that information right in front of them when they call.

6. No more than 3 lines per paragraph.

Website visitors are scanners. Make your paragraphs short and concise. So, while you want your site content rich, you also want it easy to read.

7. Use headlines and subheadings.

Headings and subheads offer breaks between paragraphs and a bit of added white space. This also makes the text easier to read and skim.

8. Do not underline text for emphasis.

As a rule, links are underlined. Underlined text will frustrate your visitors if they think it's a broken link. Instead, use italicized or bolded text. It's best to limit the use of all caps though. Your readers don't want to be shouted at.

9. Keep call to action, navigation and contact information above the fold.

Visitors may never scroll down. Keep all crucial information above the fold.

10. Use only two fonts - one serif and one sans serif.

Choose a widely used sans serif font, such as Arial or Verdana for text. Choose a second font, one with serifs, for your headines and subheads. This is opposite of what you would do in print. Reading from a computer screen is different.

11. Limit number of colors.

Pick a color palaette that is coordinated. Limit your choice to no more than 3 colors. Poor color choices or too many colors can quickly turn off your visitors.

Now, go take a look at your website and see how it compares.