Have you ever had one of those days when you’ve looked at your Web site and thought, ‘It’s okay, but it’s looked the same way for ages…it looks tired…it needs a lift…it needs something different… but what?’ If this is you, then it’s probably time to be kind to your Web site and book it in for a facial, a facelift or an extreme makeover.
As you can guess, the costs for facials, facelifts and extreme makeovers differ hugely. However, each one of them can make a difference to visual and first impressions. Here we give you some options for your Web site that can help to freshen up its look, enhance its appeal to the viewer and improve the impact of your key marketing message.
It’s important not to underestimate the power of presentation. By making your Web text easier on the eye, people will usually absorb more information from a page, rather than simply ‘glazing over’. Think about introducing additional headings, bullet points, slogans and mission statements.
Most businesses do not do themselves any favours with outdated, dull or badly photographed pictures on their Web site. If your Web pictures look dated, it gives people the impression that your business is dated, offers poor quality service and that you’ve lost interest in it. Uploading fresh pictures that are bright, colourful, relevant and appealing can make a huge difference without a huge outlay. Think about using ‘people’ pictures, getting photographs taken by a professional photographer and sourcing images from one of the many online photo galleries.
Flash technology (or Adobe’s Shockwave Flash) was first introduced in 1996 and is a popular way of introducing animation and interactivity to Web sites by way of animated graphics, banners, adverts and games for example.
Flash animation, used judiciously, can help a business display a wide range of images, which showcase its USP, services and products on the Web. By choosing appealing images and well-written slogans in a new or updated Flash animation, you can can make your Web site appear fresher, more modern, enticing and attractive.
The home page of your Web site is the most viewed of all pages, so ensure that your primary call to action or latest offer is clearly visible. It may be that a simple line of text saying ‘Contact us’ or a graphical button is not really catching the eye of a viewer. Your call to action may benefit from being positioned differentlyon the page, from being enlarged, having its colour changed or being contained within a more eye-catching graphic.
If you want to significantly revitalise your Web site, but don’t have the time to put together new content for a whole new Web design, then a makeover (or ‘re-skin’) for the home page only is another option. A makeover on the home page can update the colours, fonts, calls to action, pictures, animations and text without the need to make changes to the navigation. (If navigation changes are required, it’s usually time for a site re-design.) A good re-skin willharmonise with the Web site’s sub-pages, so the ‘face’ matches the ‘body’.
Sometimes ugly duckling Web sites really need an extreme makeover to turn them into swans. It may be that the design, structure, navigation and text need a complete overhaul throughout the site (not just on the home page). In this case, a site re-design is often the most cost-effective course of action. Re-designing a Web site can really revolutionise a Web site. A brand new look can make a Web Site more user-friendly, modern, powerful and ultimately more effective in creating sales and enquiries.
You could salvage some of the material (text and pictures) from your old site, but this is an excellent opportunity to approach the marketing of your business on the Internet from a new, fresh and creative angle.
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