Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Design With Screen Shots in Mind

With the proliferation of screen shots everywhere you would think that site designers would make sure that their sites make good screen shots, right?

Unfortunately this is not always the case.

When a surfer uses a visual search engine or a directory that has screen shots of the site the visual appeal often dictates which site is chosen and which site is left behind, not the SEO value of the text that got the site there in the first place.

Download a copy of WebShot and see how your site looks as a thumbnail.

If the resulting thumbnail doesn't convey an eye catching concept of the site you've failed.

More importantly, if the thumbnail comes up as a solid color because your Flash file is too slow to load and play in 30 seconds or for some other technical reasons, you've failed even worse.

One of my sites has almost 40K screen shots online and trust me when I tell you that the crap screen shots aren't getting the lion's share of the clicks, people just assume it's broken or something and click elsewhere.

Hope this helps a few of you revise how you think of your home pages.