The old adage ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is particularly apt in the field of web design. In the fast-paced click on, click off world of the internet, your web site needs to have a certain something to attract and retain your customers’ attention.
As part of a successful web site build, we are often tasked with the sourcing of good, strong imagery. The use of photographs, line drawings and other visual design features can make the difference between a good site and a great site. The right imagery will help you to carry your message and to support your company branding much quicker than text (although that’s important too). Here are a few tips:
- Human beings are pre-programmed to look at the faces and bodies of other humans, and so if you want to connect to your customers you may need to look for images of people. Choose carefully, people like real-looking people and so perhaps that supermodel might not be quite the ticket.
- Striking colours within images will attract attention and may add more power to your site than coloured text or page backgrounds, but go for clear, strong images rather than fussy or busy ones.
- If you’re selling products MAKE SURE you have an image for EVERY PRODUCT. Missing or broken images create a really bad impression on the browser and if someone can’t see what you’re offering they are very unlikely to buy it.
- In the same vein, it is worth spending a little bit of money to have your products photographed professionally. Clear images are much more successful than blurry, old or dim ones.
- Make sure your images are cohesive. Decide on a style or a frame of reference and stick to it. Your eSterling design team will be able to help you with this. Tartan and leopard-skin may both be striking, but it’s unlikely that putting them together will do anything except give you a headache.
- Supplement your images with great text. The use of clever straplines alongside your images will double the effect. Make sure you use succinct and relevant straplines.
If you have any queries about freshening up your current web site or building a new one, please contact eSterling and we’d be pleased to help. Call us on 0121 766 8087 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
They say that ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ and if this is true, it’s crucial that you get the imagery on your website right. Potential customers will judge your business based on the photographs or graphics that they find on your website, so any images must be professionally presented and appropriate to your company.
It’s worth spending some time carefully editing the images that you use on your website, starting with the home page. This is the most likely entrance for potential customers and the images need to encourage them to stay on your site and convert to a paying customer.
Your homepage needs to be eye catching and include welcoming images that are relevant to your sector. Always make sure that your imagery suits your company ethos – whether your company is strictly corporate, or relaxed and friendly.
You don’t need to stick to the obvious when it comes to imagery. Photographs can be used to suggest the things that you offer, which is particularly important if you are selling a service or idea, rather than a product. For example, a company offering loans might show a picture of a happy couple with a new house, rather than documents or a pile of money. You can buy these types of lifestyle photos from picture libraries such as iStock.
Once a customer has been convinced that your message is relevant, they will hopefully move on to your products and services. If you have an e-commerce site, you need to make sure that product photos are well presented. If a customer can’t see your product because the photograph is blurred or too dark, it’s unlikely that they will have the confidence to buy it online. It’s therefore worth investing in professional product photography, or alternatively source images from your suppliers.
The about page is another place where you should consider placing images. This gives a personal view of your company and is a space where you can introduce yourself and your team. Head shots or a group photo are perfect for this. You could also consider adding a photo of your premises.
At every stage, the quality of the images you use should be your top priority. Pixellated, distorted, dark or blurry images are a big no-no. You need to make sure that all of your pictures are taken with a good quality digital camera. If you’re not confident taking the pictures yourself, consider hiring a professional photographer.
If you’re still not sure which images would be best for you – talk to your web designer. They will have worked with similar websites before and will understand what does (and most importantly doesn’t) work!
If you’re thinking of giving your website some TLC, you can rely on eSterling to help. Whether you are looking for a simple upgrade such as adding a page, or you are looking to completely re-design your site, eSterling has the solution at a competitive price.
Our experienced web designers and developers are always willing to listen to your special requirements and help you get the best out of your project, whilst our dedicated project manager will ensure that the job will be carried out to schedule.
If you are an existing eMarketing customer, our SEO team will be able to advise you of the best solutions to maintain your current rankings. This minimises disruption to your site and keeps the traffic following even when changes are being made.
Contact us today if you need to:
- Add a new page to your website
- Get a blog for your website
- Re-design your homepage
- Re-brand your site
- Add a video upload page
- Upgrade your CMS (content management system)
Call eSterling today on 0121 766 4080 or email email@example.com to get things started.
As each new year arrives we seem to be subjected to a barrage of pressure to change something, to improve some aspect of our lives by torturous or expensive means.
Stop having so much fun and come and buy a sofa!
This year the January sales have been on since November and there are still Quality Streets left in the tin so as far as I’m concerned they can keep their new leaf, I’m staying as I am. And as January continues, so does my penny-pinching. I’m settling down to wait out the winter (with my chocolates) and to see what happens before I make any major purchases.
January is always a tough time for business, we’re all reeling from the pocket-washing that Christmas brings, but it can also be a time to take stock and get those little jobs sorted that you’ve put off all year. While business is quiet get your web site updated, take those photos you’ve been meaning to, write those three pages of content you need refreshing. Get yourself prepared for when the chocolate-huggers like me come out to play and to spend money again.
eSterling are offering a 10% discount on Web Site orders placed before the end of January 2012. If you’d like to refresh a couple of pages, update stock lists or just give your site an early spring clean, get in touch.
Pass the tin, mine are the purple ones…
Start 2012 the right way with a new website from eSterling and get 10% off! We are offering new and existing customers this great discount when they order a new website before 31st January 2012.
Whether you are looking to launch a new product or service, or you just want to upgrade your old site, eSterling can help. We offer professional web design and web development services to provide you with a website that is tailored to suit your business.
To take advantage of this limited period Special Offer, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 766 4080 and quote the code WEB10.
Terms and Conditions
- 10% discount is redeemable on new websites ordered before 31st January 2012.
- One discount is available per client, per website.
Jacques Designer Bathrooms is a long standing eSterling client, having been with us since 2001. Over the past 10 years the web has changed dramatically, but eSterling has ensured that Jacques has been able to move with the times in order to outshine their competitors. The most recent development was put in place last year when Jacques had a new website designed by eSterling.
The new website features a simple layout with the emphasis being on the quality of Jacques Designer Bathrooms’ products and services. The overall function of the website is to be a platform for enquiries, as the bathrooms in which Jacques specialises need to be seen in person at their showroom to be fully appreciated.
To launch the new site an advanced SEO service was put in place to target a wider range of keywords. The work carried out by eSterling has produced excellent results for Jacques as many of the keywords, such as ‘designer bathrooms’, are ranking on page one of Google.
Jacques has also branched out from traditional SEO techniques and have used our press release service to drive traffic to their site. This also gave their rankings a boost, proving that this is a great technique to grow the profile of a business.
Bringing traffic to the Jacques Designer Bathrooms website is important for the development of the company at this stage, as potential customers are sure to want to take advantage of Jacques’ prices on designer bathroom suites and installation.
Managing director David Jacques said that the company’s pricing structure ‘is more competitive than ever’ so now is a great time to order a luxury bathroom. David also commented; ‘eSterling’s ongoing commitment to achieving results for my business has ensured that my site is visible online, even in difficult times for the industry.’
As we approach 2012 many of you will be looking to get a new website to go into the New Year with a virtual bang. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you all the benefits a website has to offer as a place to showcase your products or services. A new website is no doubt a good move, but what if it can’t be found?
Your customers need to be able to find your site when they are searching for your products or services, which is where SEO comes in. SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it’s the behind the scenes stuff that gets your website noticed in Google. Without it, your website is like a shop with no signs – not good!
There will be some of you that already have SEO covered and your old website has brilliant Google rankings. Your customers are finding you, but when they get to your site they don’t like what they see. This is something we internet types refer to as ‘bounce rate’ – if your bounce rate is too high it means that too many customers are bouncing straight off your site using their metaphorical internet space-hopper. One way to make sure your customers stick around is to upgrade your website to something more modern, slick and shiny – a website to be proud of.
Whatever category you fall into, you need to be aware of the ways that SEO and web design can work together for you. A good internet solutions company (like eSterling of course) can help you with the complete package, making sure your website attracts visitors and keeps them interested.
Web design and SEO go hand in hand like fish and chips or gin and tonic… I just wish the web designers would learn this and make the SEO team a cup of tea once in a while!
CMS stands for Content Management System and is a way of editing your website without the assistance of a web developer.
The key benefit of a CMS is the separation of design, content and structure which allows advantages throughout the lifecycle of your website. Each section can be amended independently, which allows you to change content without jeopardising the front-end design. This separation creates the flexibility of a CMS, allowing the editor to safely create content, add images, multimedia files and much more….
- Consistency of design is preserved.
Because content is stored separate from design, the content from all authors is presented with the same, consistent design.
- Designed with non-technical content authors in mind.
If you can write an email, you can add content to your site! Absolutely no specialist knowledge required.
- Decentralized maintenance.
You can edit anytime, from anywhere with an internet connection
- Configurable access restrictions.
Users can be given certain permissions that prevent them from editing content which they are not authorized to change.
- Navigation is automatically generated and adjusted.
Menus are generated automatically based on the database content meaning links would not point to non-existing pages.
- Content is stored in a database.
Central storage means that content can be reused in many places on the website
Encourages efficient and effective updates.
If you think you would benefit from having a CMS for your website please get in touch for a competitive quote.
In our quest for constructive feedback from our clients, we often come across requests to scale a website down so that the whole page fits within the screen size. When a client asks for their site to appear ‘above the fold’, we always explain that this isn’t such a great idea and I’ll explain why…
New viewing mediums
With the web now extremely prominent on mobile phones and tablets and even HDTVs, the way the site can be viewed will be different on each platform. Users will also have a variety of different resolutions on their monitor and each browsers visible screen size will be different depending on the size of the toolbars. This means there isn’t a specific ‘above the fold’ point where all of the content must be.
Negative impact upon the design
If you scale down a website by around 300 pixels then the design of the site will significantly suffer. The original design will no doubt include plenty of white space around the design so the user can ‘breathe’ when looking through the site and everything is clear and easy to manoeuvre around. However, once that is removed and many of the elements are bunched up, the site will be a lot more difficult to scan and will probably result in the user either not noticing key information or not bothering to explore the site further.
Users are willing to scroll
Research has suggested that although the user will naturally spend more time looking at the top of your website, they are more than happy to scroll down to view more, especially if the site is designed to be scannable. In research carried out by ClickTale.com it found that 76% of users scrolled and that a good portion of them scrolled all the way to the bottom.
I speak to a lot of prospective clients and a phrase I hear often is “It’s OK, we deal with all of that in house”. I always feel that these people have made a mistake by not listening to what an external web design and SEO company could have to offer, as there are many benefits to outsourcing work to a company such as eSterling…
- The cost of employing a single developer or SEO professional to work on your website will cost an average of £30k per annum. SEO packages start at just £75 per month with eSterling.
- An in house team (or individual employee) may only have a vague overview of all the areas of web design and SEO that needs to be covered. eSterling’s team is built up of individuals who specialise in different areas, including SEO, Adwords, email, web design and coding.
- Finally, a permanent employee will need to take holidays and sick days. Here at eSterling our team is large enough to provide cover all the time, meaning your company won’t be at a disadvantage.
Outsourcing web design, web development and SEO to eSterling could save you a lot of time, money and effort. So why not compare our service with your in-house team to see if you can get a better deal?