Recently, I was asked by the Jacksonville Business Journal what I thought about some of the latest web designs. In a long winded reply, I told them to Stick to What Works. When it comes to web design, the key is to make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. Knowing what they are looking for is the key. So, what DOES work?
I have been operating PTC Computer Solutions since 1996 and have seen lots of interesting things come and go. I find that the web design and development industry is much like other industries where methods, strategies, and design styles and themes are constantly changing to try to stay fresh. I recall the era of the discovery of the animated gif when everyone wanted to have animation on their web sites despite the ridiculous nature of these image bytes. Then there was the days of the landing page where web sites had a page to land on that said something as profound as “Enter Our Site” on a clickable button. Why else would we be there, right? Then there was the advent of the Flash era where everyone wanted a Flash designed site with tons of way cool and way useless stuff. Few listened to reason on these since most people think they know about marketing and advertising and many of those think they know how to put together a web site. They are typically wrong on both accounts.
So, lately, the trend is towards the specialized full-screen background photos. This style has been very popular recently and can be seen on such sites as hilton.com, super8.com, and tijuanaflats.com. Again, this will likely be a short lived trend. The advantage of this concept is the ability to put some “wow” images in front of the viewer. The disadvantage is that it is very distracting to the eye. Try to find what you’re looking for in a sea of varying colors, patterns, and images. It’s difficult enough sifting through the content without these types of confusing eye distractions.
Full-screen background photos can provide some zing but they should be utilized very selectively and are really only for the few. Pushing a point without being distracting should be the marketing objective. You can see this in the way, conversely, Sheraton.com handles their point pushing marketing effort. It is a more organized and less distracting methodology that the online marketing industry has been utilizing for many years. Don’t get involved with these trendy methods that only cause confusion and difficulty for the viewer. They can be cool, but that’s where the fun ends…and your prospect leaves. Keep your marketing focus in full view. Sticking to what works is the best policy. Make your site navigable and friendly by using the following proven marketing techniques:
- it must be easy to navigate
- make it quick to find the most important stuff
- anticipate the viewers interests and make it obvious
- provide everything your clients need
- make it easy to find what your clients need
- no distractions
- lots of images and photos used selectively
- less words for the viewer
- lots of words for the Search Engines
You can’t go wrong with using what works. Keep it simple and keep it to the point. You only have a few seconds to get someone’s interest, so make it count.
If you are looking to get noticed on the Internet but don’t know where to begin, let PTC Computer Solutions help you get started or help improve your current website and website marketing plan. We can plan a full budget for your company and complete any web marketing efforts you wish to achieve in order to deliver a consistent and effective message to your prospects. Contact David W. B. Parker (when you think of “W. B.” think of WeB) at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.ptccomputersolutions.com for more information.
By David W. B. Parker
PTC Computer Solutions