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Pulling Attention Towards Your Business!

February 10, 2010

Whether you are selling CDs, artwork, drill bits, gourmet food or plumbing, if your potential clients have no idea who you are, what kind of products and services you offer, and can’t easily view what you have to offer, there is little chance they will find you, let alone purchase from you.  In today’s social networking climate, the first thing a potential client looks for is, at the least, a website. The main concern of any business is how to reach their particular target public and once reached,  how to get that public to purchase their product or services.

Let’s take this subject up. Breaking down the key elements we have: 1)Getting attention in order to 2) gain interest and  3) inspire confidence. And all the while accomplishing these FAST.

Getting attention. How much time do you have to grab someone’s attention long enough for them to want to see more of what you have to offer? These days, it is seconds. In order to produce sustained attention, you have to present something interesting enough to the “audience” to keep them interested.

First impressions are extremely important. For instance, if someone needed plumbing services and Googled “plumbers in Portland, OR”, they would find over 270,000 listings! Starting on the first page, they would start to scan down the list. You have just a few seconds to capture a person’s attention before they continue searching the entries.

How do you do that? In our example above of the “plumbers in Portland, OR”, someone starting down the list of entries on google, might click on an entry for a number of reasons, but the key factor is the text written below the entry. Does it contain the “right” words? For instance, for United Plumbing, the listing says “Portland Oregon Plumbers and Plumbing Services Company | United …” and written under the listing is: “We are the best Portland Plumbers – we get the job done right, the first time. We provide residential and commercial plumbing services in Portland, Oregon. …”  Someone looking for plumbing services would probably choose to click on United’s website over some of the other listings. Offering the “best Portland Plumbers” and “getting the job done right, the first time” certainly sounds like something a person needing a plumber would want. Right?

Next comes “gaining interest“. OK. So your potential client’s attention is gotten sufficiently that they click on your link. Great! Now what? How do you keep that person interested now that you’ve got their attention? Here is where the visual representation of your business and where, especially, your Home Page, play a most significant role. Is it confusing visually? Are the colors too bright and offensive to the eye? Is there too much clutter so that one can’t easily follow what you are trying to communicate? Does it take too long to load? Are there too many flashing objects? Is the website hard to maneuver? Is there too much on the home page or too little? Too many photos? Too few?

We’ve found that less experienced designers or businesses attempting to design their own websites, often can’t resist the urge to fill their pages with lots of “stuff”. Too many clashing colors, too many photos, too much text, non-sequitur-to-their-business pages (like having your poetry listed as a page on your landscaping website – actual occurrence!), not enough impact to get someone interested enough to explore further.

Let’s review the example of the United Plumbing company. Their Home Page is pretty good. While the color could be toned down a bit to make it easier to read the text, one’s first impression is that it is a family oriented business that truly aims towards giving you a fair price, excellent service, quality materials and all delivered on time to your satisfaction. There are different pages listed at the top: how to contact them, where to read their blog, what services they offer, etc. The different pages offer enough information for the layman to understand and they have a presentable photo. Altogether, it is a very clean, simple, easy to follow site. I would definitely be interested enough to call this company.

Inspiring confidence: how does one do that? It’s called Professionalism. Professionalism is what inspires confidence. A cluttered, hard to follow website, bad photos, a thrown-together cliched logo, bad grammar or hard-to-read text all contribute to an air of the unprofessional.  If you’ve gotten a potential customer interested enough to go to your website and look through your product line, you had better exude enough professionalism to inspire the confidence needed to get them to contact you.

In our example of United Plumbing, we found an interesting choice of visuals at the bottom of their home page: a pretty blond woman wearing a plumber’s uniform and hard hat holding a huge plumber’s wrench! While that image may be an attraction to some or perhaps we should say a “distraction”, albeit a pleasant one, it may not be the correct message for a plumbing business. Why? It’s simply a matter of what image in a given profession inspires confidence.

These three elements: getting attention, gaining interest and inspiring confidence resulting in sales,  are what we focus on here at SkyHawk Studios.

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