Build Intrigue with your web site design.
I’ve seen so many web designs through the years that don’t do anything to intrigue me. There are two distinct parts to a web site and most sites miss out on one or the other, or, in more cases than I can hardly believe, both. It’s imperative that a web site be found firstly, and secondly, that it be intriguing enough to keep my interest. I need to know, as a viewer, that I am at the right web site and that the site provides me the information I need immediately and pointedly. There are some key points to keep in mind when designing a web site. They are as follows:
- The elements in all locations of the web site should be developed for optimal use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS allows for more SEA (Search Engine Awareness). As such, CSS relies on fonts on the user’s computer and browser and thus sticking to primary fonts is advisable. Graphical elements, such as a logo, allow more flexibility but also limit the SEO. However, where possible, stick to textual content and CSS manipulation so as to maximize your SEA.
- The textual content must be maximized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), not just as filler but as real SEO maximized content. Maximize the copy for SEO once the design of the site has been settled on so that the content fits the design.
- Users want to see what they are looking for quickly and without too much clutter. Opt for a cleaner header with the primary functions in the top menu bar for the purposes of providing users the option to quickly find what they are looking for. It’s a good idea to ADD more clutter at the bottom where users will end up if their interest leads them there. Interest them in the top third of the page with short pointed information so that they will scroll down to read the more robust two-thirds of the page. This will help your SEO as well as keep your viewers intrigued.
- It is often a good idea in today’s environment to offer a slideshow in an area at the top, preferably within the top third of the page, beneath the main menu items to offer some quick visuals for our visual world. Scroll through photos along with textual content to the right of the photo that will also change with the photo. People like to look at photos and feel at ease with seeing people who look like they are, not only having fun, but might be similar to themselves in their activities. This is an area designed to attract their attention, provide them information, and make them feel comfortable. The photos in this slideshow should be carefully selected from the photos available to fit this need. The text that goes with the photo should also fit this need and be conscientious of the SEO definition. It is important to use CSS for this slideshow for maximum SEO and SEA as well as the ability to have this slideshow load quickly. Slow slideshows will be detrimental, so stick to the CSS slideshow designs for optimal intrigue and SEO.
- The main area beneath the slideshow, but still in the top third of the page, can be split into a left side and a right side. The left side or right side can be chosen for the main content of each page and will change according to the page. The other side should be used as a sidebar for quick content access. Again, this can be to the left or right but should be a thinner sidebar with some quick “important” items for the user. You should have some links to your YouTube channel, Yelp reviews, Social Networks, News & Views and a Newsletter signup option which will be consistent on every page though could fluctuate in the order with which they are delivered. PTC Computer Solutions utilizes an algorithm that will randomly place these areas top to bottom allowing for some feeling of change every time a user enters and thus compel them to read. The randomization also signals the search engines that the page has altered and will force the Search Engine Robot to re-categorize the page improving the SEA as well as your Search Engine Rankings (SER).
- PTC Computer Solutions highly recommends you have a YouTube channel of your own as well as an embedded Blog with newsletter sign up capability. The Blog will allow you to connect with your prospects and former clients while the YouTube Channel will provide a place for videos. Videos provide comfort such as was mentioned for the slideshow. Video should be added to attract prospects. Prospects should be defined through a Market Research Study. A good Marketing Study will define the demographics as well as the psychographics of your prospect base. PTC also recommends you get some videos produced of just general activities in and around your storefront, if you have one, including your services and your employees at work on and in their work. Not everyone is a videographer, so if you get some stuff on film, PTC can help you compile it with our video editing staff. Or, you can get some local help, but it is imperative you add video to your YouTube Channel. YouTube, behind Google itself, is the second most utilized search engine on the web. And, of course, Google owns YouTube which will help your SEO greatly.
- Moving down in to the bottom third of the page, there should be some links to What’s Hot, Featured Stories, Services, and Support areas. These can all be fed right out of the Blog or can be changed separately depending on how you want to handle this. It is a great opportunity to showcase support of the local community and the community for your area of expertise. It is an excellent showcase for this but must be dynamic such as the Latest News section which will be fed from the Blog as well. The Blog needs to be set up to handle all the business needs, but regular upkeep is important. PTC works closely with clients to ensure the Blog is kept current and can keep your Blog up to date as part of a service and management contract should you wish us to do so.
- Reviews from online sources are very useful. If you have Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube reviews and comments or whatever you have out there should be added to the sidebar or the lower bar. Again, this could be a revolving randomization of things which would help your SEO tremendously. You must become familiar with all of your Social Networks and keep them current. Again, you can contact PTC Computer Solutions to manage these if you need some help.
- The Footer should be an “Open Footer” with all the links available and visible to the user shown for quick access to any part of the web site in it. This is really something for the search engines and is not often looked at by the general user unless you’ve intrigued them enough to get to the bottom of the page. If you have them there, you’ve done your job.
The idea here is to get people to utilize your services or purchase your products or come by your store to talk with you personally. The objective is to generate more traffic for you but also compel the user to use you for their needs or at least contact you directly. Offering some incentive to be part of your Subscriber network is a good way to build rapport. The embedded Blog will help this tremendously, but we need to get people fired up about YOU! So, be thinking about what fires people up, not what fires YOU up. Video is excellent with regards to that. In the video, you can work on compelling people to come by and try out what you have to offer. Unfortunately, not everyone will take the time to view the video even though you want to add as many videos as possible. The videos will generate more traffic through SEO and will likely not be watched, so we want to also compel prospects with the textual content of the site because that’s how they are going to find you.
PTC Computer Solutions recommends all of this to every client, but it is up to you to provide your web designer with your thoughts and recommendations. You know your business better than anyone else. Let your designer know your thoughts on the design and the information mentioned here and they’ll provide a web site that intrigues and compels your prospects to contact you.
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. PTC 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
PTC Computer Solutions
P.O. Box 51604
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32240