One of the very first decisions we make as internet marketers involves the critical choices in designing websites. We each have differing opinions and viewpoints of just what our site should look like. More often than not, these decisions are based on personal opinions or selections limited to the templates of the respective applications utilized for building the site. But there has to be more to this than personal preference – with no real basis for the logic and methodology tha should go into making the decisions!
What about this logic —beyond the appearance – lets also look at the “sales” potential of one design versus another. Think about it, why do some websites sell better than anothers? Do you need a marketing degree to create a website? Does design have much impact on sales?
You may not realize this but many of the successful internet marketing businesses already figured out that design, or layout of the website should be as much of a marketing decision as the ad copy. Why is that?
Web designers (and individuals with software apps) can do some amazing things with graphics and colors. You will also have a much more professional looking site when an expert applies his or her handiwork. However, it is critically important to understand some of the key elements that smart marketers make certain appear (or NOT appear) on highly profitable sites. After all, having a “pretty” site does you no good if you are not getting traffic or revenue from sales. Being aware of these will enable you (or your selected designer) to keep in mind this balance between marketing and design. The three key elements are color, graphics, and layout.
COLOR: Designs with a dramatic color can make compelling choices for setting a mood. But reading on a computer screen demands as much contrast as possible, otherwise the reader will develop vision fatigue. You do not want to irritate or tire your visitors in any way or they may leave, so be certain that the main body of your website copy is black writing on a white background – or as close to that ideal as possible.
Colors also change appearance on different monitors, so what looks cool and calm on one monitor may be bright and glaring on another. Simple works.
GRAPHICS: Striking, bold graphics can be a real eye-catcher for visitors. Still, successful internet marketers are pretty much unanimous in stating that you should avoid flash graphics as much as possible. Again, they tend to tire visitors eyes or create a distraction from the written copy. Even if they are initially impressed by the work it may subconsciously annoy them. Simplicity is again the best way to go.
LAYOUT: The first ‘fold’ of your site is similar to opening a tractional paper letter. If you remove a letter from an envelope that is folded in three, you will obviously view the top ‘fold’ first.
This fold is what individuals will see without scrolling down the page. It is CRUCIAL that important elements like descriptive headlines, your contact number, newsletter subscription form etc. all show in the first fold. Do NOT place banners here unless they are the main element of your business as you will be giving prime space to other websites and your customer (which you fought hard to get in the first place) will be gone just as quickly.
These are just some of the important elements you should be aware of when designing your site. This “balance” will greatly increase your sales potential – once you incorporate this into your design criteria. With both design and “sales-ability” used as the foundation for the website in the initial design phases you will reap the financial benefits for years and years.
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