Most internet marketers either use free website graphics from a template or pay a professional graphic designer without giving any thought to the principles of web page design. As for the layout of the page, it's either the template again or we go ahead and copy whatever we guess might be working for someone else. If that's what you're doing, you are probably leaving a lot of money on the table. With these basic web design principles you can tweak those free web graphics and page templates or give clear instructions to your designer that could result in a dramatic boost to your sales.
- Text has more impact if it is aligned to the left. This is partly because it is much easier to read than centered text, and partly because the eye in the first few seconds will move straight down the left margin looking for what it assumes will be keywords (see tip 2). So stop centering those headlines!
- Put a strong message into the first word of each line of your left-aligned headline and subheadlines. Positive, emotive words are good. If the eye reading straight down picks up words like Free, Secrets, Important, Money, over there on the left margin, then you are definitely going to grab the reader's attention. Your headline could actually be something like "Free dog training manuals will never give you the Secrets that you will learn from this Important new video-based training package for less Money than you would spend on pizza." This is a terrible headline … but if those power words are aligned at the left margin it will get far more attention than it describes. Try pasting it into Word and adjusting the layout to see what I mean.
- Images (including the header graphic, if there is one) should line up with the text at the left. This is another trick to increase the impact of the text. If your header graphic stretches right across your "page" and joins up with the background on either side, the eye will be distracted away from the text and onto the background.
- Header graphics are not always necessary for sales pages, and if you have one, plain is fine. You may want to experiment with this, but you do not want your header graphic to attract attention away from the headline benefit. So if you use a header graphic at all, do not include highly attention-grabbing features like people's faces or a lot of bright colors. At one of my sites http://www.cashavalanche.org the header graphic is surprisingly located below the headline. See what this does for the impact of the headline. And if you pick up the free report from the resource box below and go through to visit the eCoverGuru's site, you will see a header graphic that can only be described as dull!
- If your earnings come from image-based advertising or affiliate links, the same applies. You do not want your header graphic to detract from the impact of the advertiser's image. But it does not apply to content sites with text link or contextual advertising. In this case you probably do not have a strong headline and if visitors see nothing but paragraphs of text and text-based ads they will close your page in a split second. So here the opposite applies and a strong, attractive header graphic can give your site a boost.
- If you are selling digital products, a professional-looking ebook cover or software box is vital. This gives people the impression that you are offering a valuable item. Yes, ebooks are judged by the cover – even free ebooks. If you do not want to spend the money to have covers professionally designed, for a much lower price you can pick up a ready-made but customizable design where you can get the Photoshop files so that you can change the title, colors and / or photo.
- Keep your "calls to action" positive. NLP theory says that when people are given a command, the subconscious does not hear negatives. So other things being equal, "click here" produces the desired result – a click. But "do not leave this page" will mean that people subconsciously receive the instruction "leave this page". So "stop!" is much better. (If you do not believe this, think how many times you have told small children to "Do not touch that!" And guess what they do? Most times they are not quite disobeying, they are just too young to work out that "touch that" was probably not what you meant!)