INTERNET MARKETING Strategy of Creating the Virtual Face for the Company
By Kęstutis Kazlaukas
Nowadays Internet has become practically the major and most convenient means of communication and channel of public relations. More frequently companies design websites where they present information about the company, its activity, describe the goods and services offered. Browsing the websites we hardly realise how much time we spend on one or another site and why this happens. Website design experts recommend the following: if you want to be noticed in the Internet jungle, you must select an appropriate design for the site, update it with solid information, take concern of the website attendance promotional toolkits and soon you will have regular visitors of your site.
Proper Selection of Colours
Website designers emphasise that colours appear to be one of the most essential parameters of websites. “Colour is the prime object noticed by users visiting the website, as well as the last one that is forgotten once they exit. Provided the colour is chosen properly, the website image shall remain for long in the memory of any user. Once it is applied in the proper way, it may turn to be a highly effective tool of marketing,” states Internet marketing specialist Pam Renovato.
Experts of virtual site designs recommend studying the meaning of colours before taking the decision on what website colour should reflect the activity and aims of the company best of all. Companies, which strive for establishing a positive impression, are advised to use “clear” colours for their websites. Those aiming at creating the face of a leader of the field and having no fear of innovations should choose brighter colours for their virtual space. On the other hand, dark-coloured text on the light background is more easily perceived by readers.
“If the company desires that visitors feel comfortable, relax and analyse information placed on the website as long as possible, pastel colours should prevail on their sites, consults Andrius Grigonis, marketing manager of UAB Interneto svetainių dizainas. Bright, pleasant colours imply that the company is oriented towards the young and active user”.
According to the specialists, choice of colours must be coordinated alongside with the activity conducted by the company. For instance, food production or catering companies could choose the orange colour and its shades or tunes for their websites, because this colour gives people an appetite and stimulates digestion. So far Lithuanian food production and catering companies mostly choose pastel colours, namely pale grey, light purple or alike, even though they bear no relation with the stimulation of appetite.
Appropriate websites of law companies should demonstrate the dominance of mahogany shades. Red colour and its variety stimulate warmth, sincerity and excitement. Information placed on websites in this colour may invoke the trust of users.
Simplicity is Genius
One of the key objectives of the website lies in the presentation of information more than just the demonstration of its attractive design. Browsing the website for information, visitors prefer to spend as little time as possible. Thus, information on the website must be presented briefly and expressly. One can use a link or reference for any detailed information as a marketing tool. Thus, the website performs a particular function of attraction. Websites should be always updated placing the information that might be of any interest for not your potential clients only, but also your potential partners. It is necessary to vividly provide the description of your production or services offered, inform on any current offers and available discounts. Moreover, it is beneficial to incorporate forums, consulting rooms, guest books or other means to enable the communication of the visitors together with your staff. In addition to that, there should be integration of additional useful functions: calendars, spreadsheets, search engines, animation, games and other tools to attract your potential users.
However, it is accepted that the beginning of the information block should contain the information about the company and later on its products and services offered, while the end should include contact details or simply “Contacts”. Web browsers subconsciously perceive the website structure in this way and even visiting the site for the first time they expect information to be displayed precisely according to this pattern.
Mr. Grigonis asserts that every website of professional level must also comply with several obligatory requirements. Firstly, it must demonstrate “clear” design and include no annoying colours, whereas information placed on the website should be arranged logically and coherently. Website must by any means be clear from any programming errors, taking relevant concern of website administration, applying information updates on a regular basis to prevent the website content from becoming outdated. Naturally, the website must conform to the aims defined and function as an effective marketing tool of the company.
No Fear of Experimenting
One of the best websites among the experts of Internet design is considered to be the site www.apple.com. The interviewed Mr. Grigonis states that it is not only the website with the stylish and appealing design, but also a mature creation from the perspective of the user. Although the company Apple provides a lot of information on it, nevertheless the site does not appear to be overloaded as everything is arranged coherently and logically, objects are associated with each other to guarantee uninterruptible navigation.
Designers of www.apple.com had no fear to violate the unwritten rule valid for many years that the text should be darker than the background. Taking this risk, the company Apple designed and achieved its exclusive style. The authors of the site did not avoid any contrasts; they seem to be subtle though. The presentation of production, where the view is of greatest importance, appears on the dark background of the website. Whereas the columns containing a huge amount of information are designed in accordance with the classical design principles: dark letters appear on the white background. According to the specialists, in this way the text may be perceived more clearly and is reader-friendly.
Every company should decide on their own website: subtle – in order to gain trust, innovative – to capture attention, or the one that violates the standards – in order to demonstrate creativity. In every case the design of the website may be modified after a certain period of time and it is recommended to update or design a totally new one should any of the needs, objectives of the company or IT market tendencies change.
Once you have your own website, it does not yet mean that it would bring the desirable results, namely reach your potential clients. “Designing a website is just a half of the task. The other half focuses on the augmentation of website attendance and its popularity,” stresses Andrius Grigonis. There is quite a number of additional ways to popularise websites ranging from a common reference on the business card of an employee or in the e-mail signature to promotional panels, savers or the broad possibilities granted by universal search engines. Thus, having made the decision to design the website of your own company or enterprise, it is worth searching for the professionals in this field able to offer a wide range of services.
During the search for a company or a group of independent experts, it is best to check the website of the company which renders services. Moreover, it is recommended to view the products which have been already created by the selected partner. It is also essential to know the number of specialists to be engaged in the design process of your website and their competence and experience. It should not be forgotten that not only programming specialists and designers are required, but marketing and other specialists as well. This will then ensure that both the company and website visitors are satisfied with the results.
Publikuota verslo žurnale "Lithuanian Business Review", 2007 No. 4