Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ode to a perfect Web site

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

Thy Web pages are more lovely and more useful

Rough winds do make the darling HTML buds fray

And Google's lease hath all too short a date.

Sometime too hot the keywords do shine,

And often is your gold home page dimmed,

So dear Web site, I love it when ...

  1. I can find you on Google or Yahoo! maps.
  2. You make it easy me for to find your phone numbers on every page.
  3. I love it when you write out your email addresses in full like because sometimes the automated links don't work and that makes me mad!
  4. I hold you in great esteem when you don't make me lie on Web forms or ask too much of me when I visit your site for the first time. Give me the option of saying "no thanks" or "I don't know." As Claudius said in Hamlet about lies, "My words fly up, my thoughts below, words without thoughts, never to heaven go." Don't make a liar out of me just so I can get your white paper or email updates.
  5. I love being able to click on your logo to get back to the home page.
  6. I love an uncluttered and clean web design.
  7. I love simple, effective navigation. Give me a lovely little search button to make me happy.
  8. I love a site that looks professional and shows that I can trust it without a silly "hacker protected" icon.
  9. I love it when you have a personality and you've written your pages with a light touch.
  10. I love it when you realize I don't really care about your company history. Just tell me what's in it for me. Sorry.

Apologies to William Shakespeare. You can read his beautiful ode no. 18, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" on

This post was inspired by 50 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew by Sonia Simone at Remarkable Communication. You can see my take on it here.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online editor Julie Power



Lars said...

I agree with most of your list. But one could argue that the "company history" would be something like an About Us page. And those are important for conversion!

IMR editor said...

Hi Lars
Thanks for comment.
Yes, you are right about putting history on about us page and the seo and trust implications.
But there are many sites, particularly b2b ones, that start their pages with copy like ..."Founded in 1983, the Xcompany is dedicated to the superior manufacture of ... We are based in Sleepy Hollow ..."
I should have clarified that I was really talking about home pages.

Andy Mills said...

Truly brought a tear to my eye, we can only dream of site so beautiful

IMR editor said...

Too sweet Andy. Thank you. I am crying with gratitude for your comment. Really. Julie