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From: Jared Hamilton
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Eric Miltsch

Eric Miltsch President

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BDC training for 2017

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Its great to see the discussions about the different strategies being used to drive traffic and get noticed online; the best laid SEO, SEM and SMO plans won't be able to execute at their full potential if your site lacks key design and usability standards.

Color themes, page layout, content elements...all items that trigger a subconscious response for the visitor within the first couple of seconds of arriving to your site. Since these are items you can control, why would you want to discount the efforts that are going to represent your brand online?

Conventional wisdom says to pack the pages with content and graphics; brochure style page copy, eye-catching graphics and plenty of "stuff that's cool."

Don't fear the white space. Use it to balance the page and direct the viewer's attention where it needs to be. White space lends itself to creating an open, free flowing and comfortable visual experience. Design studies have also demonstrated that white space helps increase the power of suggestion and influence your visitor's decisions.

Each page of your site is created to perform a specific, revenue producing action. Your page design and layout is the cornerstone of your online strategy. Don't underestimate the power of design and the psychological impact of the colors chosen as well.

What type of emotions are your colors creating?

  • Red is commonly used to help trigger a response within a call to action. The contrast helps isolate it from surrounding elements. Be careful not to use colors such as blue or green on a red background to avoid the "floating" text effect. And of course, too much red and the viewer will not only stop - they may just leave.
  • Yellow is often perceived as being calm and sedate, acting almost as a mental brake and slowing the viewer down. Too much yellow and you run the risk of creating a subconscious hint that may create uncertainty.
  • Orange is a great special weapon for the daring. Call to actions featuring orange can really pop when inserted properly so as not to upset the overall balance of the page.
  • Blue is classic confidence and trust. The most commonly heard description of sites using a smart shade of blue is "clean." That type of response encourages visitors and creates positive expectations.
  • Black is tricky when it comes to an automotive site. Heavy framework can also turn visitors away. Softer tones and gradient effects can minimize the intimidation factor and actually help build confidence. Be cautious of the font colors used on a black background as they often disappear or float when the wrong shade is chosen.
  • Green has obviously gained in popularity because of the entire Green Movement and its overall safe connotation. Perfectly balanced green elements can build trust while changing the visitors perception of the site.
  • Web design isn't a "set-it and forget-it" type of activity which ends once the site launches. Continuous tracking, ongoing feedback management and more testing will steer you towards the most effective use of the resources available.

    Failure to maximize your design efforts can ultimately lead to lost visitor actions and poor branding opportunities.

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