What turns you off the most with today’s current websites? Is it the pushy sales copy and pop-up banners that inundate you as your trying to find more information about a certain product you want to purchase? Is it the fact that the contact us information is hidden under layers and layers of ubiquitous landing pages? Or, is it the fact the website, for all its useful information, is just plain bland.
If websites were people then which websites would you be most attracted to? In business, relationships are the most important factor in building trust and forging dialogue, and for the majority of cases, the best business relationships are based on personality – and that just doesn’t apply to business. Personality is a subjective characteristic that people catch on to very quickly, and it is usually based on personality that we make our character assessments on people. For those of us with bright, outgoing and positive personalities will attest to the fact that we’re always getting phone calls from friends. The same can be applied to websites; a little personality associated with your website could translate to more calls for your business.
So what how do you add personality to your website? Approach this conundrum from a “user engagement” perspective. Basically, how do you want people to engage with your website and after doing so how do you want them to feel? What actions do you want them to take? What should the overall experience of your website be?
Components that help increase User Engagement
- Forums component
One of the most effective features to increase user engagement with your business site is adding a forum component. An open forum allows user to talk about topics related to your products and services and even your business as well. A forum acts as a place where you can corral all the people and customers pertinent to your website and keep them engaged with your brand.
- eNewsletter component
promotional schemes is to make your product or service offering so compelling that users have to take notice. In addition, it gives users an opening and an opportunity to try what you are selling. Promotional schemes such as Pay per click or PPC is extremely effective because it moves users along a continuum where they are engaged to you without the hard core sales pitch. They are given an opportunity to try you out and if they like what they hear or experience then user engagement will be built and a sale will be made down the road.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and You Tube have taken the marketing world by storm. “Social media is the number one activity on the Web” (Qualman, 2009). Hence, “companies today view social media as a critical component to its overall marketing strategy “ (Wetpaint & Alimeter Group, 2009).
From a consumer’s point of view, social media is seen as invaluable. Based on 2008 survey, 93% think that companies should have a social media presence; while 92% believe that companies should interact with consumers via social networks (Wilson, 2008).
“Social media affords a business the opportunity to connect with consumers, maintain brand positioning and awareness, generate more traffic to the company’s primary Website and enlarge the target segment” (Delobelle, 2008).
Components that give your business website a better impression
- Interactive and Mobile devices
Mobile marketing is a promotional activity designed for delivery to cell phones, smart phones and other handheld devices. Ebay’s projected sales through its mobile website and application this year is seen by Internet Retailer (the respected ecommerce magazine) to reach $500 million. Renowned marketing research company, the Kelsey Group predicts mobile advertising to grow from $160 million in 2008 to $3.1 billion in 2013.
A small reminder that new platforms for advertising and selling are taking root and the quicker your business takes advantage of mobile marketing to more returns it might see in the near future.
Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) is a multimedia platform for installing animation and interactivity to web pages. Flash is popularly used to create animation, advertisements, and various web page Flash components, to integrate video into web pages, and presently in adding rich Internet applications. (http://en.wikipedia.org)
Flash makes websites look cool, attractive, and at the same time, professional. A website is like your receptionist! They must look good for making a good first impression on your client and a Flash application is a perfect website component to do just that!
CSS Stands for “Cascading Style Sheet.” Cascading style sheets are used to format the layout of web pages. CSS helps Web developers create a uniform look across several pages of a website. Instead of defining the style of each table and each block of text within a page’s HTML, commonly used styles need to be defined only once in a CSS document. Once the style is defined in cascading style sheet, it can be used by any page that references the CSS file. Plus, CSS makes it easy to change styles across several pages at once.
CSS also gives web developers more exact control over how web pages will look than just plain HTML, which is why most web pages today incorporate cascading style sheets. (http://www.techterms.com)
Websites with Harmonious Utilization of flash, java and CSS
Here are a few websites that I recently created for YNG Online Inc. that harmoniously utilize flash, java, and CSS components.
- PlayByPlay is loaded with flash apps that will blow any user away. It has flash components to help tune the visitors to the website. This website is visually appealing as well as logically organized to assist the user to easily navigate the ins and outs of the website.
FTII website contains various flash applications and components to suit a wide-ranging audience. The site is very smooth in its organization which gives users a hassle free experience. The site also has an exhaustive integrated search service that can help the user at any time!
Forthought offers a very simple interface to browse through their repertoire of flash components. They also package these apps as a unit which can assist you if you are looking for a complete makeover of your website.
Allure.net offers a comprehensive database of professional images, vector art or flash files. The website provides a very easy navigation experience and a systematic database so that you can get what you want quickly and in the easiest way possible.
Need to add some personality to your website? We’re also website personality coaches.
Click here to get assessed.
Article By Giessel Razavi