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Essential Chicago Web Design Elements For Engagement
When the website of a business or organization is directed to the Chicago marketplace, visitor engagement, lead generation and online sales will be maximized when the proper Web design approach is used. The site’s design should immediately and strongly convey to the visitor that the enterprise behind the site is connected to the Chicago community in a meaningful way. This message will enhance credibility and put visitors in a positive frame of mind as they explore the site and decide whether to take further action.
For that purpose the most important design element is the use of images. For instance, rather than rely on generic stock photos, utilize original photos of Chicago landmarks. More powerfully than words, a visual of the Old Water Tower or Wrigley Field will convey that the website is a Chicago-based enterprise. Since visitors typically decide whether to stay or leave a site within a few seconds, images must not only resonate, they must be positioned in “hot” areas of the Web page that are likely to be scanned immediately.
Use Chicago-Specific Imagery:
Using Chicago images to reinforce the Chicago Web design should not be limited to the Home page. If the enterprise is engaged in search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click advertising, visitors are likely to enter the site on any number of pages, some of which could be deep within the navigational structure. It is just as important that the Chicago message stand out on these pages; otherwise, the visitor may never reach the Home page at all. Be consistent in your location messaging. If you have it on every page, make sure that it clearly states your location and contact information.
Use Chicago-Specific Keywords:
Using, but not overusing, “Chicago” and Chicago-related terms in page headlines and subheads, navigation labels, image captions and calls to action will strongly reinforce the local relevance of a website. Once the visitor has absorbed a visual impression of the site, he or she will then scan these key textual elements to “get the lay of the land” and decide which area of the site to visit next. If the Chicago message is lost at this point, a great opportunity to build a customer connection may be diminished or lost.
Companies often approach this design-content strategy in the opposite fashion, displaying dense body text with multiple Chicago references while ignoring Chicago messaging in titles, navigation, captions, etc. The problem with this approach is that visitors seldom read the body text, but almost always read or scan these other elements if they remain on the site for any length of time.