Everyone at Red Sage knows I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, so it is no surprise that this blog is Game of Thrones themed. If you have no idea what Game of Thrones is, I highly recommend you watch it. It is one gripping show! It’s got a little bit for everyone: dragons, betrayal, drama, magic, zombies, swords, fighting, explosions, secrecy, Sean Bean,Peter Dinklage, and shocking twists! I’d like to kick things off with the series’ famous quote:
“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”
Although you will not literally die in this case, the same can be said about web design. When you play the game of web design, you either attract consumers or turn them away. Let’s face it: design has statistically proven to either gain business or turn it away. Let me lay some quick stats on you:
1. 40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. (Tweet Me) (Source: )
4. Of those surveyed, 68% said that having a website – ideally one that is well designed – is a key factor in the opinion they hold about a business and directly influences their decision to use a local business. (Tweet Me) Only 27% were not bothered about whether a local business has a website or not, and wouldn’t judge them if they didn’t. (Source: Bright Local)
Marketers and advertisers have perfected this to a science. Not only do they know which colors attract consumers based on the business, but they also know what catches our attention the most based on neurological studies (Neuromarketing)! Germany published a study showing how the brain unconsciously prepares our decisions: that several seconds before we consciously decide what we’re going to do, its outcome can be predicted by looking at unconscious activity in our grey matter.
Consider the example below:
(Source: Top Design Mag )
(Source:Brownstone Pancake Factory )
Given the fact that each sells similar products, with which one would you rather do business? The first or the second?
If you are like most, you probably chose the second website. However, looks are not the only thing that matter. So, what can we learn from this? Let’s take a journey across “Web-steros.” Perhaps the houses can offer us some advice and help us win at the Game of Thrones.
Motto: “Websites are Coming”
Technology and the internet continue to advance at an alarming rate. A few years ago we all thought flip phones and Furbys were the peak of technology. Look at us now! Technology changes just as fast (if not faster) for websites. As the years progress, websites are increasingly mobile-friendly, used to connect with social media, equipped with analytical tracking features, and boast more features that make a huge difference in website visibility. Businesses across the globe are updating their out-of-date website designs every day. If you haven’t had a refresher in the last three-four years we highly recommend it. Want to know more? In one of her previous blog posts, Heather gives some great tips on how to keep your website current.
Remember, more websites are coming, and you don’t want to be overlooked. More websites = more competitors.
Motto: “Ours is the First”
Not only is good design important, but so is SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Red Sage knows all the tips and tricks that will optimize your site’s SEO. For our SEO customers, we incorporate best practices to help their site land high in the search results for key phrases on search engines. The easier it is for users to find your site, the more people will visit, and the more opportunity you’ll have to grow your audience.
Motto: “Photos and Blogging”
Text is a huge key component to your site, but do not overlook photography! Although you may have paragraphs of text explaining what each page is about, remember that photos give viewers personal insight toward what you are about as a company. Keep it professional of course, but be personable. Audiences love personality and relatability. One of the latest design trends of 2015 consist of sites with full bleed photography and video backgrounds. Here are just a few of my favorites:
Not only is quality photography key, but blogging is a huge must! Blogging not only increases your SEO by feeding search engines fresh content regularly, but gives you the chance to connect with your audience and followers further. Blogging also lets your audience know that your company is moving forward and you are actively engaging on a regular basis. However, don’t be intimidated! Blogging isn’t difficult. Ellen makes some great points in one of her previous blog posts about blogging.
Motto: “Hear my Brand!”
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times: It is extremely important to have a consistent brand that ‘speaks’ to your targeted audience. Not only should your brand be consistent, but every now and then your brand, like your website, needs refreshing. This is a great way to show your business is moving forward and entering a new stage of vibrancy. Take a look at Mark’s previous post about how important it is to refresh your brand. In his post, he analyzes big company logo refreshes. If you’re just getting started, you can also check out Ellen’s quick roadmap to branding your business.
Motto: “We do Social Media”
Web design also extends to your social media presence. Why is it so important for you to have a strong social media presence? Consider this: accessing your website is like walking through a door. What if there is only one door? That certainly narrows things down a bit. Now let’s say you create a couple social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. Not only did you create two more doors to draw in more site visitors, but they are two HUGE doors. Did you know there are over 1.35 billion monthly active Facebook users? This means that Facebook is way too big to ignore, so get on the band wagon!
What does it all mean?
Good web design is not just about how “pretty” your site looks. It is about usability, user friendliness, layout, structure, SEO optimization, social media presence, and more. Good design is about the big picture and how you can present the entire package to your target audience. In order to be 100% successful, you need all the building blocks. Have a couple questions? Don’t know where to start? Give #HouseRedSage a call. Jon Snow may know nothing, but we know a lot about good web design. We’d love to hear from you!
Of course, not all of the houses from Game of Thrones were portrayed. Which house is your favorite? I am loyal to House Stark – who is with me?