We’ve all heard the expression “it’s like putting lipstick on a pig… it’s still a pig”. Is your website needing more than lipstick?

It’s no secret that people prefer to look at sites that have a modern and contemporary look to them.  Many don’t realize that Google also prefers to see updated sites as well.  It shows that the site is active and current.  These reasons are more than enough to make you want to at least LOOK at the possibility of updating your site.

If you are going to go through the effort of updating your site, keep these points in mind to get the biggest bang for your development buck:

  1. Always remember that people look at everything they see and hear through the filter of “What’s In It For Me?”.  Instead of saying things like “I have 20 years of experience as a bookkeeper”, replace that with “I will lower your annual taxes or your money back”.  You can feel how the second line has far greater power to draw people into your business.
  2. Having said the previous statement, you also need to have a firm idea of what your website to do.  Are you wanting your website to just provide general information or to drive people to become your clients?  Do you want people to end up in your online store, register for your next event or engage in conversation with you?  Perhaps you want your website to spur people into signing up for your free introductory session.  Understanding the goals you have for your site in conjunction with taking a client first stance will go a HUGE way towards getting the most from your update efforts.
  3. How does your website fit into your overall marketing strategy?  A simple rule of thumb is that your social media should drive traffic to your website, not the other way around.  A sports analogy is pretty appropriate here.  Working with your clients and prospects on your own website instead of on a social site is like playing a home game instead of being the visitor.  The home team always has the advantage.
  4. Whenever possible, use automation.  This is especially true for small businesses where your ability to get in front of your clients and prospects and make a difference is heavily influenced by how much work you have to do IN your business.  Investing extra time and money up front to get your site and systems to do more work without you pays you back every day.
  5. How else can you monetize your site?  Can you recommend other people’s services?  Are there products you could sell that would help your clients?  Anything you can legitimately offer to your client that extends your ability to help them is a great add.
  6. Great looking websites don’t help if the content is lacking.  Fabulous content doesn’t help if your site doesn’t work.  You need to pay attention to the look, content AND technical aspects when you redo your site

If you keep these things in mind as you work on your site, you’ll create a site with moves your prospects and clients in the direction that both you and they want to go.  You’ll create a tool that helps you run and grow your business as well.

If you’d like to talk about a possible update to your site, why not CLICK HERE to talk to a Shazaam consultant on how we can help you out.

 

I’ve had a lot of questions lately about using visual effects to change the appearance of a room, such as making a tall room look wider or a short room look taller. I’ve responded to a number of those privately, but thought I’d do better to finally have that information see the light of day, if for no other reason than to free up a little more creative time.

Let’s start by making rooms appear taller. Here are a few of my favorite:

Use stripes, either strongly or weakly contrasting, to draw the eye up and make a room appear taller. Actually, pretty much anything that draws the eye up makes your room feel taller, even if it’s just a high shelf with collectibles near the ceiling, an interesting border or similar attention-grabber.

Stick to using a lighter paint or wallpaper on the ceiling, making it recede.

Use flush lighting to increase the appearance of height. Hang your drapes closer to the ceiling instead of just at the top of your window (you can use this trick to make your windows look larger, too). Decorate vertically instead of horizontally.

. . . pretty much anything that draws the eye up makes your room feel taller, even if it’s just a high shelf with collectibles near the ceiling, an interesting border or similar attention-grabber.

Make small spaces big

There are also a lot of options available for making smaller spaces look larger. Don’t feel that you need to stick with painting everything white to expand the space, but you will want to stick to lighter colors. If you do go bold with your color scheme, make sure you use clear tones that help expand the space, rather than muted tones that will make it seem closed in.

Use functional furniture with storage spaces to help reduce clutter.

When it comes to small spaces, you’ll want to incorporate medium-sized accent pieces to keep the space from feeling small when large accents are used or cluttered when using a lot of tiny items. You want accents that use similar colors to draw the eye across the space instead of stopping its motion.

Add a diagonal element to help draw the eye upward.

Take a good look at how the vertical elements in this room’s design help draw the eye upward, making it appear taller. Whether it’s a bold pattern, stripes or tall design elements, drawing the eye up makes a room look larger.