Monetizing the Internet Walk-in: Part Two

Parallax: The apparent motion of a relatively close object compared to a more distant background as the location of the observer changes. Astronomically, it is half the angle which a star appears to move as the earth moves from one side of the sun to the other.

“Webronomically”, the term “parallax” comes from the visual effect of 2D side scrolling videogames that used different background image movement speeds to create the illusion of depth during gameplay. Making the background of the game move more slowly than the foreground in order to make it seem further away accomplished this effect. This same concept applies to parallax site design in which the background of the website moves at a different speed than the rest of the page for an impressive visual effect that allows for countless creative applications for online storytelling.

Which brings me around to the subject of this blog. Parallax websites. One of the questions I’ve been hearing from fitness business marketeers, consultants and club owners is this: How do we bring in the millions of internet surfers who are interested in some of the products we offer, but are not necessarily willing to pony up for a long-term membership? Here’s my answer: You have to involve these users in your site! The days of the static, information-laden website that just sits there like a lump is done. Consumers, driven by the radically different buying habits of younger buyers with vastly changed versions of “what is hip” are now looking for an experience rather than information. At least that’s the horn that I’ve been blowing for the past year or so.

If you read my blog of July 16th in the ACH Review ( you can trace the history of the web from the stodgy HTML-bound seminal sites of the early 1990s through the development of cascading style sheets and into the WordPress explosion. Currently anyone can go on, pick a theme from one of the hundreds available and build a website/blog. Or, for the more adventuresome, you can download the open-source WordPress software and build your own site from scratch. With thousands of plugins and themes available, the persistent designer can make a WordPress site do almost anything they want – almost! But WordPress still limits you to sites composed of a number of pages that the reader must “bounce” to in order to get all the information they need about the product they are looking at. At least they did. Then came the paradigm shift

In 2011, a company from Portland, R/GA, built the Nike Better World Website and parallax scrolling exploded on the scene. Suddenly the design world was abuzz with a brand new web-concept: telling the “story” of your product on a single page that you scrolled down from top to bottom. But, you might ask, how do you keep the reader’s attention? The idea is simple: have a foreground, middle ground and background as part of your composition. Then when scrolling, use JavaScript to move these three elements at different paces. If done right, the background will move slower then the middle ground, which will move slower than the foreground, giving the user a sense of depth and motion. Then you use beautiful fonts, photos and videos on top of the backgrounds to tell the story of your product. What happens when you do that?

Viewers are amazed by the page depth and animation.
Your story guides visitors through the site.
Visits to your site are longer because visitors scroll through the entire page.
Correctly done, the story directs visitors to calls to action.
Calls to action responded to create data for mailing lists and product offers.
At the same time you re-enforce your credibility with innovative interactive viewing.

Right now I’m working on designing parallax websites for Moneymovers, Inc. and some of our clients. I can tell you this: it is not for the faint of heart. But correctly done, a parallax site will give you what you need in a website: longer view time, and more response to your calls to action. Now you are going to answer the question, “How do I monetize the Internet Walk-In?” The answer is simple; capture their heart and mind and you will capture their pocketbook.

For some great examples of different kinds of parallax sites, you can go here: Twenty Best Websites with parallax scrolling of 2013. Next time we’ll talk about the one major problem with a one-page site: SEO.

Monetizing The Internet Walk-In – ©2014 Money Movers, Inc.

The term “Internet Walk-in” has been copyrighted by Money Movers, Inc. Any use of the term is expressly forbidden unless by permission of Money Movers Inc.

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