You probably already know the key to making any kind of income from the net is a well designed web site. What most people don't realize your site doesn't have to look perfect or be professionally designed to be successful.
Not by a long shot!
In the final analysis, any site that makes you money is a successful site. From a marketing perspective, any site which brings in an income can be considered a well designed site. Many people can't get their heads around this fact: some of the most basic/ugly sites can be the most profitable. You don't need a perfect site.
Believe me, I know from first-hand experience.
Your site doesn't have to be a design knock-out to earn you money. My first site www.bizwaremagic.com which I designed from scratch when I didn't have a clue what a perfect site should be or look like but my modest little site now brings in over 50,000 visitors a month and Google just upgraded it to a PR6.
All that is not really important, what is important my site brings in money each and every day! It is a profitable site, it's not pretty but it works. I earn revenue from Google Adsense, I earn revenue from affiliate sales and I have even formed partnerships with other major sites and businesses on the web.
I get more and more companies coming to me each week asking if they can display their products/links on my site. I recently turned down a major fellow Internet marketer who wanted to put a link on the top of my home page and that guy makes millions online each year!
Why are they bothering with me and my site?
Because my site brings in targeted traffic and visitors who buy products and services which those companies are selling. My site is valuable to them. My site can deliver leads, customers and business to those other third parties. My modest little site is not perfect but it sells. It has value.
My Most Important Web Design Tip
Here's the main tip or advice I can give anyone starting a new web business: the only reason my site (any site) has value is because I have targeted certain keywords or keyword phrases with my site. Once these keyword phrases rank high in all the search engines you get targeted traffic to your site. Targeted traffic which companies would like to have a piece of to sell their products.
Actually if you do this one action right (get high rankings for your site's profitable in-demand keywords) then your site will earn you money. For example, if you get a top 10 ranking for 'Cell Phones' you will make money, regardless of how good or bad your site is designed!
Of course, this doesn't mean web design will not play an important role in the success of your site. You should always go for professional graphics, headers and logos if you can afford them, but you must realize other design elements will play a greater role in the success of your site.
You want a site that is easy to navigate with all links clearly visible and linking to your home page. You want a site that is easy on the eyes so keep all fonts and colors even and consistent throughout your site. Organize your content and material in a simple and straightforward manner featuring the one thing most surfers are searching for: information.
Please your visitors and the search engines by covering or discussing only one topic per page. Place a well defined page title at the top and include your main keyword phrase in your title and description. Feed the spiders but never forget you're writing for real human beings; the majority of whom will actually have a heart and a pulse!
Design For The SERPs
Keep your web copy and writing short, informative and witty. Some eye candy is dandy as long as you get your point across in the process. If you're selling from your web site, many professional marketers will suggest you start your marketing strategy not on your site but in the search engines' descriptions listing your site or page. Keep this in mind when you're writing your page descriptions, start to pre-sell to your potential customers in the MSN, Yahoo! or Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
These search engines, especially Google, will add creditability to your information or offer. This is one design trick or tactic you should be utilizing on your site to increase conversions if your goal with your site is to sell products or services.
Design For The BIG Picture
Along those same lines, I believe very few webmasters have a Big Picture when they're creating or designing their sites. You must look far beyond the actual pages you have uploaded to your web host... mainly because you must extend your site well beyond this limited concept.
You must fully understand your site's real power exists well beyond your web pages. You must extend the reach of your site to all corners of the web. You must build links, partnerships and content into these countless areas of the web. Use articles, blogs, social networks, viral marketing, directories, related sites and most of all you must pay attention to all your site's content in the major search engines.
Grasp the Big Picture of your site's design and keep it in mind at all times as you expand your site and watch it grow. Always have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish with your site's design and point it in that direction. Never forget your site doesn't have to be perfectly designed to be successful; you just have to get your information across in a frank and friendly manner. Just give your visitors what they're looking for and your site will be successful.