The Effects of Multimedia on Your Business Website

Many business owners worldwide use the internet to host websites related to their business. They generally feature 'SEO-friendly' graphics (usually low-resolution .GIF files for load speed) and generally consistent and boring color schemes and layouts, as to maintain browser compatibility. With all the debate over current technology and it's limits, and the progression of web technology increasing exponentially, you can't blame them! What most people don't realize is that this attempt to host compatible, fast, websites can be the number 1 way to destroy your sales and professional appearance, unintentionally losing a plethora of potential customers in the process.

People underestimate multimedia, and it's ability to increase business on the web. Since the good ol' days of floppy disks and dial-up, people are getting a little too comfortable with plain, barely-functional websites...and it's losing them business! So what can you do to increase your appearance online and keep the compatibility of your usual website?

Here are a few ideas that will really grab your audience's attention:

   1. Work with CSS layouts and transparent PNG graphics. PNG files have the magical effect on a browser of allowing what's called 'alpha transparency'. This means, your images doesn't have to be an awkward square - if you want a flower pot for your florist company, then you can do it without needing a tacky white square filling in the rest of the space. Combine this with CSS will allow you to keep the flower pot hovering over a corner of your website, even as you scroll the page. (Hint: This is a wonderful idea if you want to use the PNG as a link to an important page - such as your opt-in to a newsletter).

   2. Don't be afraid of flash content. The same CSS trick applies to flash content, which can have a wonderful effect on your business by allowing everything to be interactive. You can have the opt-in flowerbox actually have a 'name' and 'email' input textbox, from where you can allow people to sign up without ever leaving the page! And yes, it's compatible. Simply publish with AS2 and Flash 8 (an older version of flash scripting) and you're website will be over 99.6% compatible with ALL web users!

   3. Implement Video on your Landing Page!
It's been shown that a simple video on your landing page (the page which a website visitor first sees) is more likely to generate sales than just text and images. It's really simple, you can use a simple live introduction that's only 30 seconds long, a motion graphics segment that describes your product/service, ANYTHING! And you don't need to be a video expert to accomplish this. A simple video made in Windows Movie Maker will do. Or, if you're looking to generate some serious sales, why not try hiring a multimedia production company to quickly create one for you? Not only would the video look amazing, but the few hundred dollars it would cost to make it would be quickly made back in the sales profit you collect once your website starts generating leads.

   4. Mix and Match Video and Flash. There's nothing saying that you can't combine video with flash! Imagine the exact same video content from above, with an message at the end that allows people to directly visit your product page?

   5. Use Rollover Imagery for Links. Images can very easily be set-up on your website to allow subtle rollover effects, highlighting the menu or any links. One rule of thumb is to always make your important links in warm colors, and make them stand out from the background color. Not only does a rollover effect do this, but it can also easily help distinguish which page of a website your visitor is on, and where they can go, as well as allowing for stylized imagery that really matches and helps solidify your layout.

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