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PPM Re-Design and New Tag Line

Pole Position MarketingOver the last several weeks I’ve been working on a new version of our website and was able to finally rolled it out. Its not a complete re-design, just a minor upgrade over the previous version of the site. Take a look at it here.

Here’s what’s changed:

  • Left Nav Removed: All navigational elements are now encompassed in the drop down. Any sub-navs are found in the body on the pages to which they are necessary. I have been wanting to get rid of the navigation for some time, and even with the last re-design I contemplated it but just couldn’t figure out how to lose that without losing usability to essential pages. A slight re-organization of our sections fixed that problem.
  • Right-Side Info Panel: For the most part the “nav bar” has been moved from the left side to the right side but its been cleaned up a bit and is no longer a navigation bar. Instead of a gray background setting it apart from the body area it now is fused in with a white background. This looks much cleaner and gave me room for some cool stuff I wanted to do. More on that below
  • New Top Nav Menu: The old top nav menu was justified to the right but I moved this one over to the left. Made sense since there is no left nav anymore. I also restructured our main service categories and combined some old categories into these. Instead of a “services” drop down that had about 20 links, I’ve got our main services across the top and each drop down containing six or so links. For those that browse with JavaScript turned off I made sure that the category buttons link to pages as well. That was a problem with the old site, when JavaScript is turned off the drop downs downs don’t work. Now the navigation bar still does regardless.
  • Colored Nav Buttons: I added a script to swap images in the top nav depending on which section of the site you’re in. Previously, these were always black and the drawback to that is it made the top navigation difficult to locate as id kind of blended in a bit. That was another reason why I kept the left nav. But now, the buttons turn yellow for the section the visitor is in. Not only does it make it immediately apparent that this is a navigation menu, it helps letting visitors know where they are in the site.
  • Rotating Testimonials: I always liked having testimonials visible but putting them in the nav bar made them static. I’ve changed that by putting the testimonials in the right-side information column and adding a script that pulls a new testimonial with each click or refresh. I also added some stats to rotate in and out of here as well just for a more rounded experience. Below the testimonials is a link to read more which takes visitors to the testimonial page.
  • BBB Membership: I’ve made my Better Business Bureau membership more visible. This is an important usability issue and helps give visitors some confidence. Instead of being lower on the page it is now prominently displayed at the top.
  • Updated Footer: I updated the footer to be consistent across all pages. Previously the four images were only on select pages but I incorporated these into the site wide footer. This also allowed them to spread out across the entire bottom of the page rather than just as wide as the body area. I like this better.
  • New Tag Line: I felt it was time for a new tag line. The old, which I liked very much, was “Position Your Business First”. A nice play on words with positioning and the meaning of “Pole Position”. This time I wanted something a bit more aggressive and many ideas were bantered around. Ultimately I settled on one I like very much, “Velocitize Your Web Marketing”.

    Tag lines can be hit and miss. Like I said, I really like this new one, but what do you think? Did we hit?

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

10 Responses to PPM Re-Design and New Tag Line

  1. David Temple says:

    Overall the new nav works pretty well as you’ve categorized them better, good job with the coloring. Making BBB more prominent is a good idea. I like the idea of rotating testimonials but gotta say not big on the velocitize part. Just seems to me trying a bit too hard to be “cute” but that’s my two cents worth. Playing on the pole position seems to be a better way to go.

  2. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Arg, the dreaded “c” word! I gotta say, we were not trying to be cute. We were going for more aggressive, actually. At the very least, something that stands out, which I think we’ve done. Thanks for your feedback David.

  3. Chris Gandolfo says:

    Left Nav Removed = Hit
    Right-Side Info Panel = Hit
    New Top Nav Menu = Hit (but you might want to review with images turned off)
    Colored Nav Buttons = Hit, good visual indicator of location. But I don’t like image based navigation.
    New Tag Line = Miss, sorry but I would stick to words in the dictionary

  4. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Ok, I need some additional information here.

    I added some spaces in the alt tags in the top nav that should make the separation between them more distinguishable. Was that what you were referring to?

    What do you mean by “image based navigation”? Obviously the site can be navigated with images off, plus we got have the breadcrumbs that give a textual indication of where the user is in the site. Is there something else you think should be done?

    While I have no problem making up words, I can’t take credit for this one: http://www.wordspy.com/words/velocitize.asp. (yeah, I had to look long and hard for that!). It’s also a common term when dealing with money and investments. Check out this Google search.

    Great feedback, thanks Chris!

  5. Chris Gandolfo says:

    I took a couple screenshots here [link no longer available] and here [link no longer available]. This is from my mac but the effect is the same on windows. In the first one I’m hovering on Business Intelligence and you can see how it starts to get a little funky. Unfortunately the spaces aren’t helping a lot.
    By image based I meant you’re using images to convey the text of the link. This has it’s advantages and its disadvantages. You can supplement the links with alt text, but you have less link text on the screen. Also If I want to resize the text of the page the images obviously do not change.
    I try as hard as possible to use text for all of my navigation schemes, usually unordered lists but with dropdowns the more semantic way to represent them (in my mind) is with definition lists as parents and unordered lists as children. You might take a look at Listamatic, Suckerfish or Son of Suckerfish.
    However, your nav scheme does not use key phrases for your business, so I might be making it a bigger deal than it is!

    Have a happy turkey day!

  6. Oh … just saw this post. Let me add my 2 cents.

    First off … I like where you’re going with this. The page looks better than what it was before. Yet, there are things that I would work on… (I don’t know how “SEO savvy” your clients are but I’ll imagine that they know just a bit about it)

    1. Overall the page is too busy. Stoney … I like good info but I would try to clean it up a bit.

    2. You write in Sub headline …

    “Growth-oriented SEO with continuous on-site optimization. Unlimited keyword targeting with high performance conversion improvement strategies.”

    I understand this, you understand this … your clients might find this to be too complicated.

    3. I like the testimonials. What I would add is some credibility to them. How about adding a name to them? Maybe a URL if client and you don’t mind. More credibility man.

    4. You say ….

    “whether you’re seeking SEO, website design, …”

    I wonder if everyone knows what SEO means. And even if they do … can they relate it to higher web rankings? I’d write …… “whether you’re seeking higher positioning on search engines (SEO), website design, etc”

    Maybe not the exact words … but you get the point. Again … I don’t know how savvy your clients are.

    5. The first paragraph of text does not look easy to read. Many people will avoid it. I’d break it into 2 paragraphs or make it smaller.

    6. On the right side … you show 3 posts from your blog. Stoney … not many people know that EMP is your blog and where those 3 links lead to. I’d just call the section … “Last 3 Topics in Our Marketing Blog”.

    7. This ….

    “* Marketing Sherpa’s 2007 Buyer’s Guide to SEO Firms.”

    I’d put all the way on the bottom. It’s confusing to people who didn’t see where it relates to.

    8. Giving a link to SEO Consultants directory …. I wouldn’t. It’s another door for them to use to exit your site.

    9. This bottom action point

    “Velocitize Your Web Marketing TM. Contact us for a free consultation today.”

    I’d make it more visible. A button? Bigger text? Let me know that this is exactly what you want me to do at the end of the page.

    10. Pictures with links to different categories all the way on the bottom of the page are not that clear. People might see it as just some cute banner. I’d make it a section called … “Learn more about…” and then show these boxes. Place links on top of the boxes maybe or somehow make it stand out more.

    11. “Velocitize Your Web Marketing” ……. cute. But I would keep it simple.

    12. On this page ……

    I’d move the contact form on top. I mean this is what they need to do here right? Also, I’d remove those bottom links. Why distract them with other stuff to do?

    13. “Request Quote” button in top right ……. not that visible. I’d change it to say something like … “Speak with Us for Free …. no obligations” I mean something like that.

    14. In the middle you list your services …. “Our Marketing Strategies Include:” ……… I’d make those links. If I am looking for services you provide and I see it in that list ………. let me click on it and go to that specific service section.

    Stoney …… Ok… this is getting to be too long now. Hope this helps or at least gives you few ideas.

  7. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Hey Igor, a lot of valid points here. I’ll discuss these with the team. As for the savvyness of our audience, well, since most people get to our site searching “SEO” or “search engine optimization” I gotta think they know what it means, but we do get a share that don’t. We gotta find the balance.

  8. Stoney G deGeyter
    Stoney deGeyter says:

    Chris, I think I addressed your issues. I decreased the alt text font size and changed the alt text itself so the length better corresponds to the location of the drop down. Take a look and give me your thoughts.

  9. David Temple says:

    Stoney, I think its great that you “bare your soul ” and then respond to the feedback you get. One thing we feedbackers need to remember is you know things about what does and doesn’t work and we’re coming at it with our own prejudices. I’m sure whatever you do, if you keep your open and sharing attitude (love the PubCon reviews from your team) you’ll keep on your succesful track.

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