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
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!
Like Tom said last week in his blog post, it only takes three seconds for a customer to make up their mind about your website. If you want your company to come across in the correct light, you must make sure the text on your website is error-free. Spelling, punctuation and grammar must be correct – no excuses!
I know my blog post is starting to sound like a rant from your English teacher, but trust me – good English on your website is an absolute must. Errors in your copy reflect badly on your company because glaring mistakes look unprofessional – especially if a typo gets in the way of the message you are trying to put across. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes – if you can’t get your copy right, will they want to trust you with their money?
Here are my top tips for making sure your website is error-free:
• Write any text for your website in Word. This means you can easily spell-check your writing for errors.
• Get someone else to proof read your text. It’s easy to miss your own mistakes, as your eyes will read what they want to read! Ask a colleague to check your writing, or if you’re alone in the office, read it aloud – you will often spot mistakes this way.
• If in doubt, print it out. It’s hard to read a page of text carefully off a computer screen. Printing your copy to check it will help you to find errors, and you can also write on any corrections to remind yourself to make changes later on.
Taking a little extra time to proof read your website costs nothing – so make sure you do it today! And if you need a little extra help, give eSterling a call for Copywriting services.
Following Phil’s post on Friday, which was about how to choose a web design company, we thought we’d go back one step further.
Our Back to Basics guide will talk you through everything you need to know about setting up your own website. We will be posting a series of articles discussing domain names, hosting, web design and SEO. All the posts will be jargon free – we promise.
So onto Part 1… Do I Need A Website?
With an estimated 51million of us in the UK now online, getting a website for your business makes perfect sense.
If you decide to make the commitment to having a website which is easy to use and easy to find, you could be opening up a huge potential market.
Online retail is now growing six times faster than high street retail and UK companies are exploiting this trend by selling products through e-commerce websites.
Even if you don’t want to sell online, research shows that 83% ofUKshoppers use search engines to research a purchase before they buy. This is also true for consumers looking for services, making a website a cost-effective way of advertising your company.
However, a web site which isn’t seen by your customers is like a shop with no front door. It is essential that your website can be found by using search engines such as Google, which is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes in.
SEO is about making your website easily found when people use search engines to look for keywords related to your business. We will be discussing SEO in more detail later in the series.
If you would like more information about getting your own website please email email@example.com. Tune in for the next Back to Basics when we will be discussing domain names.
- Did you know that 80% of people use search engines to find websites on the internet?
- And did you know that 80% of people use Google as their chosen search engine?
You can have the best website in the world, but if customers can’t find it when they search on Google, what value does it actually have?
If you want your website to be successful, eMarketing is something that you can’t ignore. The eMarketing service provided by eSterling helps you to reach customers that are searching in Google by optimising your site to be ranked within the search results.
It’s so important to get your website placed highly in Google and you can take the first steps to achieving this by getting in touch with eSterling. We will be able to talk you through our SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) packages and recommend a service that will suit you best. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You can not underestimate the value of eMarketing today, because without it, 80% of potential customers may not be able to find your site!