Metro Audio Visual is a full service production company that provides video and audio services for corporate events, such as keynotes, conferences, trade shows, and more.
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Putting Your Company in the Best Light
Metro AV is a company with 20 years of experience providing A/V support all over the world–at this point, they’ve probably worked gigs on just about every continent except Antarctica. They can run circles around most of their competition.
When the Metro AV team met with us about developing a new website, we quickly recognized that they needed a website that, more than anything else, simply showed their professionalism and depth of their experience.
Their existing site, while it had some interesting visuals and behaviors, was very difficult to navigate and didn’t adapt to mobile devices. This could present something of a problem in appealing to jet-setting C-suite execs idly looking through the Internet on their phones for a team to produce their next annual stockholder presentation.
Simply put, Metro AV needed a smooth-looking, easy to use site that was still just flashy enough to draw the eye.
Making a Good–and Fast–First Impression
One of the biggest issues with the old website was that it loaded slowly. (Also, it used Flash for the front page slider, which could create some problems, as evident in one of the screenshots below.) So when we designed their new site, we made sure that it loaded fast. We decided to use the Genesis Framework, a plugin for WordPress that is rather popular with developers who don’t mind building a site from the ground up.
Many WordPress themes bake in a lot of bells and whistles that, even if you don’t implement them, greatly slow things down. Even if you don’t use a theme’s Twitter feed feature, media gallery plugin, or 1,800 widgets, those elements are still in the background, and have to be loaded each and every time, greatly slowing things down.
Genesis is a very lithe and slimmed down theme that is very powerful, but doesn’t suffer from those slowdown issues.
Yes, SEO Still Matters
As always, we ensured that the site was well-optimized for search engine crawling, and we were careful and methodical in redirecting each page of their old website to their new one. Many developers overlook the need to redirect old URLs that no longer exist anymore, resulting in 404 errors that have a negative impact on search rankings.
One of the biggest priorities for the new website was to use the power of photos to show Metro AV’s expertise. But more on that below.
The Importance of Being Genuine With Your Imagery
Right off the bat, we made sure to use an image above-the-fold that featured one of their larger-sized presentation setups. In the photo, two of the three large screens on the stage–check the screenshots out for a visual–featured their logo, which really helped to demonstrate their professional abilities right off the bat.
Many company websites overuse stock imagery. This can be due to not having ready access to a good photographer, simply not wanting to bother with obtaining personalized images, or just lazy cut-rate web developers.
But sometimes, this overuse is intentional. To a certain degree, stock images can be used to camouflage a small or inexperienced company’s weaknesses. Instead of revealing that a company is just one guy in a basement or a few folks sitting at third-hand desks, you can use a few stock photos to make it look like you have a team of dozens, each with their own spacious, airy office suite.
But people on the Internet have wised up to this kind of thing. Even five or six years ago, marketing and SEO companies in our industry were noticing that users tended to more quickly leave websites that used stock photos versus personalized, ‘real’ imagery. Waaaaay back in 2011–time flies on the Internet–one marketing company ran an A/B test in which they served users with one of two websites: one which had the stereotypical ‘smiling lady wearing a headset who just can’t wait to take your call,’ and another which featured a photo of the company’s founder. That was the only difference.
The site version featuring the founder had a 35% higher click-through-rate than the version with the stock image. And that was–as of this writing–6 years ago. In the age of Instagram, web users are even more sensitized to the feel they get from unique, custom imagery versus stock photos.
This is why we were happy to be able to use a photo that showed without a doubt that Metro Audio Visual knew their stuff. The rest of the photos on the front page, as well as the title photos for every single page, serve as follow-ups to that first striking front page photo of the stage setup, showing off Metro AV’s team, equipment, and expertise. The images may not have the dry perfection of well-shot stock photos, but even without reading a single word of text, you can see that the folks at Metro AV are professionals who know what they’re doing.
Imagery goes a long way. That’s why, whenever possible, we hire photographers to shoot photos–and even drone videos–of our clients in action. Because good, genuine imagery goes a long ways towards getting a potential customer in through the front door. When you can see someone, you begin to know them. In turn, knowledge breeds trust. And when you trust someone, you’re much more apt to buy from them.
The Website Launch, and Everything After
While the project had its challenges, the new Metro AV website was launched without much of an issue. As noted in the testimonial above, during the project wrap-up Metro AV let us know that they appreciated our responsiveness and how easy it was to communicate with us.
We have a pretty big web development team, and the effort it has taken us to ensure productive internal communication has really strengthened our external communication as well. We thank Metro AV for recognizing the time we take to ensure that our clients are kept abreast of the development process, and have ample opportunity to have input and make changes.
We enjoyed working with Metro AV, and hope to do so again one day.