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3 Things to Know About Website Banners

Posted Thu, July 16, 2015 by Julie Short

Although everything seems to change in web design in the span of a few years, there is one layout trend that never seems to fade – the popularity of banners and sliders that run across the top of websites.

It’s easy to see why so many web designers, marketers, and visitors love banners: pictures are understood more quickly than text is, and they make a memorable and emotional impression.

In other words, it’s simply more powerful to see a photo than it is to read words on a page.

But, while the website banners remain popular, they are also commonly misused. To understand why that is – and to stop you from making the same mistakes that your peers and competitors might be – here are three things you should know about website banners:

#1 High Quality Images are a Must

It goes without saying that website banners should be created from very high-resolution images. If they aren’t, they can look stretched, pixelated, or just amateurish. Any of these is the absolute wrong first impression to make when someone visits your website for the first time.

Beyond simple resolution, using high-quality photos also means that your images should tell the story you want them to in a way that is easy for a potential customer to understand. That takes a surprisingly nuanced approach, so don’t be afraid to experiment with many choices until you get right.

#2 Your Banners Should be Up-to-Date

The banner images on your website won’t just be the first things visitors will see, they’ll also be the first elements they’ll actually notice (consciously or subconsciously). It’s important that they be up-to-date, showing off your very best products, people, or ideas. Otherwise, they could get potential customers thinking about things that aren’t relevant to what you’re trying to offer at the time.

#3 It’s Not Usually a Great Idea to Create Your Own Web Banners

Web banners don’t just need to look great and be current, they also have to integrate well with the other elements on your webpages (like text, logos, and other graphic ingredients). Because making the right fit is so important, it’s usually a bad idea to create your own banners, or to update them yourself. Getting your web design team to change them shouldn’t be a big job, but it can make a lot of difference in the perceived quality of your website.

When they are used correctly, web banners are extraordinarily powerful visual marketing elements. When they aren’t, they can distract visitors and take away from your company’s credibility. Are your web banners adding enough to your online presence? And if not, what are you going to do about it?

If you need a web design team that understands how great layouts and proven Internet marketing techniques go together, it’s time to talk to WebRevelation. Get in touch with us today to request a free consultation and account review.

Posted in : Websites , SEO/SMO/SMM , Mobile Websites | 
Tags : website banners , web design , banners

Building a Website Better Than Your Competition

Posted Mon, April 8, 2013 by Julie Short

So, you’ve got the same product, similar pricing and offers as your competitors? Business is all about competition. With an effective call to action, your website should attract potential clients and encourage them to buy. You’re looking for any and every advantage over rival businesses. In this blog, I’ll give you a few ways to differentiate your website from your competition.

Google Analytics can provide you a lot insight into your website (traffic, conversions, etc.), but it will also compare your results to your industry average. This insightful tool will give you an idea of how well you’re doing digitally when compared to others in your industry.

If you’re in a highly competitive industry, you’ve got to have a website that sets you apart from your competitors. Give your customers a digital value they can’t resist.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is necessary for your website to compete. Several factors impact how your high your website appears in search results and if your competition appears first. Concentrate on content creation. Regularly posting fresh content makes your site more appealing to search engines and their automated indexing programs. Also, new content is an incentive for visitors to return to your site after the first visit. Pay attention to the keywords you’re using in your site’s content because it factors in. Focus on the search queries that yield the highest total traffic. To determine the most effective keywords, Google Analytics or Google's Webmaster Tools program provides traffic data for different search queries. Effective SEO strategies are constantly changing. It’s crucial to monitor the trends, SEO news and your site’s effectiveness. You may be due for an overall site update to stay competitive.

Your website’s design should complement your content. A site’s design should be attractive without being distracting. A clean design, with lots of white space, no dense copy and clear offers will translate well to your unique visitors. Avoid huge blocks of content. A homepage isn’t the place to provide the essay about your company. The homepage is merely the gateway. The important information and deals should be differentiated and jump out to the visitor. The site design should facilitate the buying process in the best way possible.

Easy Communication
Don’t make your customer jump through a lot of hoops to know more about your company and to connect with you. Make communication as easy as possible. Some sites require a visitor’s email address before viewing key information about a product or service. The casual customer, who is shopping around, could be driven away by this action. Too much personal information too soon causes customers to be sensitive. Include a contact us page on your website with an in-browser contact form. Eliminate the need for your customer to go through another step by having to open their own email to connect with you.

Strong Central Message
Successful websites aren’t cluttered, employ a clear call to action and have a strong central message. Give a direct, concise summary of what you’re about, what you offer and why you’re the best choice over your competition. Assume they know nothing about you and what you do. Give them all the information necessary information to choose to do business with you. Also, clearly state the next step in the purchasing process. If they can buy, sign-up for services or get a quote through the site, make it very clear and obvious. You will want to direct customers to the next step at every possible avenue on the site.

Posted in : Websites , Website Content , SEO/SMO/SMM | 
Tags : SEO , web design

Understanding the Features of Good and Bad Web Design

Posted Mon, April 1, 2013 by Julie Short

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The difference between a good website and a bad one is often amateurish designer mistakes. Eliminating bad and ugly design mistakes won’t guarantee pages will be more attractive, but it generally enables more effective communication. Features of web design can be divided into categories: the good, the bad and the ugly. Bad design missteps aren’t the end of the world, but can make pages look unprofessional and awkward. Ugly mistakes can often render a website ineffective and sometimes harmful to the reputation of a person, business or brand. After all, every website is a direct reflection of a brand’s professional digital image. 

The Good
A good web experience puts users in control and empowers them to be engaged. Utilizing Content Management Systems (CMS), clients update content themselves without assistance. CMS empowers the client to communicate quickly on their website, generally without needing help. 

In a solid design, consistency is crucial. From colors to messaging, branding should be clear and consistent with the offline presence. Every website should accomplish a clear goal. Users should easily understand the call to action. Good designs are organized in a way that engages visitors. Text should be easily readable and links will stand out. Links are often considered a website’s call to action. Using different colors or underlines for links will help them stand out. 

The Bad
It’s important to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are design qualities that distinguish a designer’s competency to execute a good website. Starting with a basic principle, images on the website should be crisp and clear. Using a grainy image smaller than the standard browser size (1024x768) as a page background is an amateur designer’s first giveaway. Poor color scheme choices and a lack of contrasting colors are other amateur mistakes. 

Most designers agree, the most crucial component of web design is typography. Typography and font choice impact a lot of website components. For example, overused, plain fonts like Times New Roman aren’t distinctive and can be hard to read. Typography is important because it’s the messenger carrying the main message. Don’t overlook its importance. 

The Ugly
Inferior web design is a curse. As we tell our clients, your website is often your first impression in an age where we are dependent on Internet information. A bad website can be very damaging to branding and reputation. One of the worst things a designer can do is prioritize style over substance. Users are impatient and expect pages to load quick. With this attitude, designers must stop incorporating elaborate animation and visuals that delay pages from loading. An extensive use of flash will slow down pages for web users and completely exclude mobile users from certain content. 

Some of the worst features are truly ugly design choices. Busy pages with large blocks of content, that lack a reasonable use of whitespace, leave visitors confused and annoyed. Problematic sites lack imaginative, well-planned navigation. Navigation and organization are crucial components of a website’s success or failure. Designers have to accurately anticipate what topics visitors will be looking for when they come to the site. Visitors shouldn’t have to click multiple links and buttons to find information. Designers have got to organize the data to be discoverable. Sounds like an easy task, but it’s not for the lazy designer. 

Posted in : Websites | 
Tags : web design

5 Rules of Modern Web Design

Posted Wed, February 27, 2013 by Julie Short

Aristotle once said, “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” Your website is an opportunity for your brand to interact with a customer. Strive to maintain a site that represents you in an attractively visual way. For some inspiration and see examples of WebRevelation’s website portfolio. Along with an appealing website, make sure to take into account these 5 rules in creating a modern website.

1. Make design decisions based on data, not assumptions. 
Start the content decision process by asking yourself, “Is this valuable for users?” It’s easy to assume you understand your audience, but a lot of statistical information and case studies are readily available to put you on the right track. Do your research. If you have an old website and access to website analytics, you can learn a lot from those personalized statistics and better understand the ways the new site needs to improve. Also, you can see what the old site was was accomplishing and what content should remain. 

2. Interactive designs are in.  
Effects can add functionality, as well as design appeal. Hover effects can offer more information and make it easier for visitors to know what they’re clicking on clearly and quickly. Also, this effect helps declutter a site’s pages. Choose effects that accompany site themes seamlessly. Don’t be innovative in ways that deviate from other concepts on your site. The whole site and message should blend together cohesively. For example, if the website is for 

3. Test everything. 
Assume every aspect of your design won’t function perfectly on different platforms. Test your website on a computer, tablet and mobile device to be sure. Aim to keep your load times as low as possible to appeal to a wide audience. If your site takes too long, visitors might not stick around through a long wait to see a cool design. Be sure to optimize background images. Often, they’re large files and could slow load times.  

4. DO NOT overlook mobile.
Embrace that we live in a mobile society. This audience is growing every year and will surpass computers in web traffic in a few years. When designing a website, it’s key for designers to consider how the design will translate into a mobile version. While differently formatted, a full and mobile sites should mirror each other in concept. Create a concept with a flexible visual and stylistic language that will apply to a mobile and tablet format. Check out these examples of WebRevelation mobile websites

5. Great content is just as important as a great design. 
A website design is the like the greeter at the front of store. The design welcomes visitors to a site and captures attention. Great content will retain, engage and encourage visitors to return again. Also, appropriately segregate content. Visitors don’t want to go on a treasure hunt for the information they need. Think as a visitor when you separate content. Ask yourself, “Where would I expect to find this topic?” Want more information on this?  Check out What Posting New Content Regularly Does for Your Business 

If you are wondering if your website is MODERN, get your website evaluation!


Posted in : Tips and Tricks | 
Tags : web design , content , mobile

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