In today’s world, if you have a business, more likely than not, you have a website for your business. What was just a small component of marketing 20 years ago, is now THE key component in most businesses’ marketing strategies. A website is vital to a healthy business. It is always available, 24/7, and should serve as an accurate reflection of your company. Any business that doesn’t have a website is missing out on a powerful marketing tool.
In December of 2014, the media and marketing team at C.I.Agent Solutions presented manufacturing representatives who sell our line of products with an informative slideshow training session detailing the importance of good web content and design. We stressed how a well-designed website can establish your company as an industry authority, build trust with customers, generate quality leads, and, perhaps of the greatest value in our industry, ATTRACT ENGINEERS! Since many times it’s the first impression of your company to potential customers, it needs to be high quality, both in appearance and in content provided.
It is for these reasons that we recently launched our newly designed website. It is the product of several months spent diligently programing and coding and creating new content. We know that change can sometimes be overwhelming, so we’ve written this blog post to serve as a tutorial for the new and improved C.I.Agent Solutions website.
The four key elements of our new site design are as follows:
- Modern: And by modern, we also mean clean. Simple. Unobtrusive. Cluttered web design is never appealing, and can turn off a potential customer. The old adage “never judge a book by its cover” isn’t applicable when it comes to web design. A study performed by Google in 2012 found that users tend to judge websites as beautiful or not within 1/50th to 1/20th of a second. Additionally, they found “visually complex” sites to be less beautiful than their simpler counterparts.
The goal of the simple design is to help visitors reach the information they seek, as quickly as possible. Less is more, and utilizing a minimalist design helps the end-user focus on the content, which is the most important aspect of our site.
- Responsive: It seems like just yesterday that people were mostly viewing websites on the media medium they were originally created for – desktop computers. Today, however, with the rise of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, that’s simply not the case. According to the IDG Global Mobile Survey 2014, mobile is preferred over the PC for executives conducting research during and after office hours.
So what does this gravitation to mobile research mean for website design? Well, websites are viewed on multiple platforms, with screens of various sizes and dimensions. And sites that are designed to be responsive provide an optimal viewing experiences with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling, across a wide range of devices.
Easy-to-navigate: Being able to get around on a website is important. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to find specific information and not being able to do so. This is why the top menu/navigation bar on our new website design follows the user even as they scroll down through a web page. It’s always at the top. Additionally, links to the various menu items, as well as our contact information and social media links, are available at the bottom of every page.
The top menu bar offers dropdown options for several of the items, which appear by hovering over them. For instance, when hovered over “Solutions,” all of the categories we specialize in appear: Secondary Containment, Vaults and Manholes, Storm Water, and Spill Response. Make the mouse hover over “Libraries” to see links to our Videos page, Slideshare slides and all of our Technical Information.
If you’re not sure where something is but want to search for it, click on the magnifying glass located on the far right of the navigation bar to type in your specific search terms. It will quickly find links to pages that feature information specific to your search.
- Visually gripping: There’s nothing better than hearing a good story. As our secondary containment solutions, wastewater screening equipment and other innovations are so diverse and unique, it’s often easier to understand how these systems work by viewing pictures and illustrations. We’re hoping that the coupling of large product pictures with informative content can combine to reveal the details of case studies and installation reports through new digital methods. Another cool feature we’ve incorporated is a random rotation of photos used as the background of the ciagent.com home page, which we will update periodically. We feel it’s a great, non-stagnant way to showcase our latest and greatest solutions. Our current images include a completed install of a secondary containment system, a unique install of 8 HFF Oil Stop Valves as an oil containment solution, and an EVAC filtration system for dewatering purposes.
Of course, those are just the top four aspects of our site redesign. There are many more features included in the new site, such as:
More prevalent blog
Yes, this very blog you’re reading now has moved up in status. Now the three most recent posts are available on the home page, and it has its own link in the navigation bar at the top.
Even if you don’t follow us on Twitter (though you should – @ci_agent), you can view our most recent tweets for the latest industry buzz! The Twitter feed is located in the right sidebar on the homepage, as well as in the right sidebar of all of the blog posts.
We mentioned briefly the Technical Information available in the Library section, but it’s worth noting again, as it’s chocked FULL of important documents, including product and application sheets, case studies, installation reports, test data, regulatory details and more. Feel free to explore this great resource section.
Do you have any thoughts or comments on our new website design? We’d love to hear your feedback!