Website Layout: Change the Way You Look at Websites (Part 2 of 3)
This week, we continue our three-part series on the key elements of website layout (here’s a link to part 1). In this post, we’ll discuss color scheme, content management, calls-to-action and social media integration.
The Color Scheme
A professional website’s color scheme should align with the brand’s color palette to create a single, clear and unique aesthetic that leaves a lasting impression on website visitors. (What is a brand?)
A study by the University of Loyola, Maryland suggested that color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent. Similarly, a survey by Xerox Corporation and International Communications Research revealed that 76 percent of company marketers believe using colors outside of black and white makes their business appear larger and more impressive to clients.
Depending on the product or service provided, a company website’s color scheme should evoke positive emotion from the target audience. Facebook, for example, uses the color blue – associated with calm, security and trust – to reinforce these feelings among users, encouraging continued interaction with friends via the Facebook platform.
By using website color to more effectively engage with prospects, a company can subtly capture the maximum potential benefit from each website visit and ultimately encourage business transactions.
The Content Management System
While a website layout is often associated with the content displayed on a viewer’s screen, maintaining the back end system of a website is equally important for creating an attractive, functional and engaging website interface.
An effective content management system (CMS) allows a website manager to quickly post content to different locations of their website – such as a blog (what is a blog?), news section, or product catalogue – without requiring technical expertise. The logical allocation of content helps create a positive user experience that encourages potential customers to stay on a company’s website until they understand the products, services and unique value that a business is providing. The HubRunner website platform integrates with the WordPress CMS so, on certain service plans, customers have the option to make their own content additions and updates. Need some help? See this post about blog ideas.
Consistently posting original material through a CMS not only keeps web pages looking fresh, it helps customers stay informed and improves search engine optimization. Presenting the business as a trusted source in its industry, original content sets a business apart from its competitors. As high quality material builds up over time, a CMS helps website managers archive their content for quick access, effective sharing and easy searching.
The Call to Action
Effective website layouts include multiple, easily accessible calls to action to drive visitor engagement.Calls to action come in many forms: requests for information, downloadable content, subscriptions to an email newsletter, or signups for rewards programs, or registering for a webinar, to name only a few. Social media sharing functions for platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn also encourage interaction with the brand.
Marketing publication e-Strategy Trends claims 80 percent of executives believe social media integration is important to their company’s marketing and branding efforts. While social media marketing is often associated with B2C outreach, B2B companies are also catching on. Another marketing publication, Marketing Pilgrim, revealed that 85 percent of B2B marketers now use Twitter as part of their marketing strategies. By encouraging readers to share website content with people in their social circles, these viewers can become brand ambassadors, generating new business leads as a sustainable method of public relations.
Integrating Google+ into a professional website layout also allows a business to share positive reviews and customer testimonials from Google’s Business Pages platform. Third party promotion of a company’s products or commitment to customer service can attract more potential new customers.
Stay tuned for part three of this HubRunner feature on website layout, when we’ll discuss the importance of mobile optimization, security and website analytics.