Today, a typical search on the Internet will review and retrieve information from more than 500 million Web sites posted for public interest. Some are from as far away as Tibet and others as close as your neighbor’s house. With all that competition there is a constant struggle for a unique identity in this ever-changing technological world. The Internet has expanded the exposure of many companies worldwide to the point that business analysts now have an official name for it; it’s e-business.
Web sites range from the complex to the simplistic, interactive or static,
artistic or in some cases unimaginative depending on your perspective. But
when it comes down to brass tacks, an effective Web site provides for its
viewer exactly what the owner wants it to. Web sites should include information
about the company and its owner. You should provide for information on your
company’s business history, contact information, tools and facts as
well as a true representation of work performed. Consider a Web site as
an extension of your company’s visual presence much like a business
When either you or your Web designer are designing your site, you need to
have an eye for your end-user and what effect that first impression leaves
on your viewer. Because you are in the industry, it begs the question: Are
you offering a pleasing environment for the viewer?
Do you provide visitors to your site with plenty of colors to view? Are
they allowed to mix and match? Do you offer them the opportunity to create
a vision using your product? Are you offering them different typefaces that
won’t blur their vision after having been on your site for 15 to 20
minutes? Do you give them a reason to spend that long or even longer on
your site in the first place? How many options are you providing your viewer
in the most aesthetically pleasing environment possible?
Unfortunately most businesses in the fashion industry excel at design, color
and impression but feel they lack the very same creativity when it comes
to designing their own Web sites. Hence they turn elsewhere and outsource
the job to a Web designer to build what could be construed in today’s
economy as one of the main avenues for showcasing their businesses to the
Decorators and designers should design their sites as they would a home.
Use of color, space and impression helps a viewer move through your Web
site and find the basic elements referred to earlier. A good site developer
can take a clear design instruction and create that exact architecture.
There is truly no limit to the technology that is available, just be careful
as technology comes at a price and a clear budget plan similar to an advertising
plan should be followed.
Of course, when you build a store you need to attract customers, and let’s
face it—with the vastness of the Internet even the most attractive
and productive Web sites can get lost. When you mail a brochure, you don’t
send a copy out to everyone in the world, which is why Web sites should
be targeted to the consumers in your geographic region by using traditional
BUILDING A NEW TRADITION WITH TODAY’S TECHNOLOGY
• Add your Web site address to your business card.
• Your yellow pages directory ad should always include your Web address.
• Newspaper inserts or any pre-printed brochures should always include
if not your Web site address at the very least your company’s e-mail
• For added exposure, perhaps you might consider asking your state,
community and local special interest groups to add a link from their sites
The heart of the matter is this: if a company’s intent is to present
a grand exposure and can service national or worldwide commerce, banner
ads or high rankings on search engines are very effective. If a prospect
searches the Internet for an interior decorator, a list will appear in order
of the most-used sites.
Of course you can pay to get your name to the front of that list. Banner
ads work like advertising in a magazine or newspaper. There is a cost associated
with posting it, and depending on circulation (hits) the cost will vary.
These banner ads are typically created by the Web site owner and their placement
is critical in search engines or trade e-publications.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS DEMAND GREATER PLANNING
Web sites don’t need to be complicated; however, they now are an expected
area of your business. Prospects will often ask for an e-mail or Web address
to take a look at your capabilities and history. Impress the prospect with
a great site and the sale is eminent. Provide them with an ineffective Web
site and assume they will continue shopping elsewhere.
A rule to remember for Web site creation is to ask for several unbiased
reviews of your site prior to launching it to ensure that it’s attractive
to the right prospect, it has an easy-to-navigate design and that it provides
enough information to gain the interest of the prospect and holds your prospect’s
Before joining the Elmar team three years ago, Alex Willis had already accumulated
nearly 20 years experience in the information technology (IT) industry.
After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Kentucky,
he completed graduate work at the University of Washington and Princeton
University. A Desert Storm veteran, Willis served eight years in the United
Before joining the Elmar team three years ago, Alex Willis
had already accumulated nearly 20 years experience in the information technology
(IT) industry. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from the University
of Kentucky, he completed graduate work at the University of Washington
and Princeton University. A Desert Storm veteran, Willis served eight years
in the United States Army.