I created my first website in 1996 using Macromedia Cyberstudio (which was bought by Adobe
Coming at you this week from Euclid’s BeachClub Bistro – known for their bourbon, pizza and gorgeous patio.
First, answer WHY you want to redesign the site. Of course everyone will say its to get and retain more traffic and increase conversions, but dig a little deeper. HOW can a website redesign accomplish this?
One great reason is to make it mobile-friendly. But, another important factor is to take a long look at your branding. What does the current website’s logo, colors, photos, navigation, and content say about your company?
If you have Google Analytics installed on your current site and you feel you get an ok amount of traffic, but are not converting anything to sales – take a look at your Bounce Rate. Your Bounce Rate percentage indicates how many people are leaving your site w/o clicking to see another page. So, if your BR is 75%, that means that 3/4s of your traffic is leaving after viewing your landing page.
If you have a high BR, there are two things to consider: Your offer and your brand. If you feel good about the product or service that you are offering and its pricing, then you have to consider what the branding is communicating.
Logo: Your logo is often the 1st impression of your company… and its hard to overcome a bad 1st impression.
If your logo was designed on the cheap say, 5 years ago and you feel good about your company’s staying power, addressing it before you redesign your site might make all the difference in the world. So what are some elements of a GREAT logo?
1. First, identify the KEYWORDS that you want people to infer from your logo. For example, a telecommunications company probably wants the viewer to come away with “connectivity”, “ingenuity” and “high-tech” when they view their logo. A good example is a logo that I designed for DBS communications some years ago.
You have to ask yourself if your logo if your logo is speaking to the keywords that you want representing your company.
2. SIMPLICITY: The best logos take the desired concept and the elements desired, and strips them down to their simplest forms while maintaining aesthetic appeal. An overly complicated logo becomes illegible when reduced in size (think, banner ads or newspaper ads). Logos that pop off the page the best are those with a heavy, stamp-like weight to them that are easily recognizable on a page of heavy content with your eye just glancing by.
3. FONTS: The difference between a logo that’s looks like its designed by a true logo designer vs one that is done by someone on the cheap is dramatic and obvious. Unskilled designers will tend to butcher the fonts. Working with fonts requires proper training and its easy to get caught up in the latest font fad – but this dates your logo quickly. An unskilled designer will also often choose wispy or scripty fonts that aren’t legible enough or weighty enough to leave the right impression.
Even when a classic font is used, an untrained designer will usually not know how to kern it properly. Kerning is the space between the letters. Most often you want your logo type to be tightly kerned, again, for this stamp-like weight to it.
4. Which brings us to… COLORS: The colors chosen to be in your logo will say a lot about your company AND they will be (or should be) incorporated into all of your promotional materials – so you better have a color combination that works well for your company and industry, and they better lend themselves to your website’s look.
I personally don’t like primary colors very much – meaning straight up red, green, blue or yellow. But take any of these colors and reduce the saturation of them and you come up with lots of attractive variations, such as maroons, teals golds and browns.
I usually use a two-color combination – 1 very dense color (or black) and another lighter accent color, like a gold maybe. Too dense colors together is muddy and heavy and looks unprofessional.
Sometimes we use a 3-color combination such as with our branding. We use black and gold for our logo, and use teal as an accent color – it give us a little more depth than the more common color combinations.
5. Icons vs no icons: I generally like to create icons for most logos, as it becomes an easily recognizable graphic instantly and uniquely identified with your business – so if you’re going to use one, it better be good.
I often like to do icons that aren’t instantly recognizable as to what they really are, but are professional looking and aesthetically appealing – this makes me think of DBS that I already mentioned and JP Horizons. DBS’s icon is made up of the 3 letters, with the S over top, providing the connectivity. And JP Horizons’ icon was derived from the J and is a road leading past the horizon and around the moon.
So, your company’s logo is an important thing to re-assess if your going through the time, effort and expense of redesigning your website, because it plays the most pivotal role in the visual aspects of your branding.
I say “visual” because there are many other factors that shape what people think and feel about your business such as your SLOGAN – which is hugely important. Your Vision and Mission statements and certainly the Content that you put out there in Cyber Space, and we’ll address these at a later date.
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