May 4
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

First impressions matter, and this is especially true of your company’s website. While fliers and phone calls are still used to spread information about companies, most customers are turning to websites as their main source of information. According to a study done by The Journal of Behavior & Information Technology, websites have about 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression. So how do you make sure your website truly reflects how great your product is? Here are 3 tips to help you make your best first impression.

Navigation: Nobody wants to waste time looking for what they need, so your website needs to be clear and easy to navigate from the get-go. Write down a description of what you want the site to look like, what your customers expectations are, and what goals you have for the site. Sketching out a website blueprint can be helpful if you are planning a new website or a big redesign of a current website. Make sure you are keeping your website up-to-date with a clean design. If potential customers are taking the time to visit your site, they want to see that you have put effort into making it aesthetically pleasing, unique, and concise. Have clearly labeled tabs at the top of your website and easy to find contact information (usually linked at the bottom of the page). It is helpful to add a FAQ page as well. Customers often turn to the website for answers to questions before they try to contact customer service for a timely and convent answer.

Accessibility: Customers are impatient when visiting websites. If the page has a lag or won’t load, even after a few seconds, you pose the risk of driving them away from your site and to a competitor. A study by Google found that 61% of users will not return to a website they have trouble accessing the first time. Gap is notoriously known for having a slow loading website. While the design isn’t bad, the initial load time is longer than ideal. Once on the website, the links do not load much faster than the home page. While a few seconds might not seem like a big deal, having a lag is a sure way to drive online customers away and lose sales.

What you do want to aim for on your website is fast and concise information. The visitor is likely on your site to get more information about your company and product. Let them know who you are, what you do, and what you can do for the visitor. Avoid jargon so the visitor is able to easily understand what you are saying. It is smart to design your pages for your target audience, so that you can use language that they will understand and respond to. Make sure to include a call-to-action, such as “Buy Now”, “Learn More”, or “Download”. It is important to ensure that your website stays updated to reflect how your company and customer base are growing.

Optimization: In the age of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, it is crucial that your website works on all kinds of devices. Nothing is more annoying to a customer than trying to look up information on their smartphone, only to be told that the website is not optimized for that device. The same goes for apps or websites with the smartphone user in mind. Snapchat is a good example of a website that is optimized for many formats. Although it is designed to be used on smartphones, the website is easy to navigate for users who want to create custom filters or add a geofilter to the map. Large font sizes, plenty of white space, and a thought out color scheme help your website look good on any device, rather than cheap and cluttered. Choose one main objective of your website, and offer your customer choices from there. Having too many options makes your website overwhelming, and harder to optimize for different devices.

Although it might not seem like your website is as important as what you are selling, keeping up a good online presence shows your customers that you care about them and respect their time and questions. Building a website that is aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and helpful is a crucial way to build your brand and please your customers. First impressions last for years, so make sure your website reflects how great your product or service is.

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