Traits of Websites That Make Great First Impressions
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For any advertisement, conversation, or statement, the most important component is the introduction. The unfortunate reality is that if you fail to quickly grab someone’s attention and make a good first impression, you won’t have the opportunity to allow the details of your pitch to reach them. And inversely, if you make a bad first impression on your target audience, the first time they view your content may be the last. Now, more than ever, first impressions matter–and making a positive first impression could mean the difference between gaining a customer or not.
This principle is also in play with your website, a virtual library of all the information one could want to read about your brand, product, or services. Studies have indicated that humans generally have attention spans of eight seconds or less, meaning that you have less than ten seconds to hook your website visitors and get them to decide that they would like to learn more about what you have to offer.
So, with that being said: how can you make sure you do? How can you make that great first impression? How can you make sure that people who visit your webpage will want to continue to peruse your site?
Here are a few tips on doing so.
Website speed is key
Perhaps the easiest way to lose someone’s interest is with a website that doesn’t load quickly enough. Your site could have the most brilliant design, with the most engaging content, the most relatable product, and an array of glowing testimonials, yet if someone’s attention gives out before the website loads, none of that is going to matter in the least.
Websites are all about the user experience, and while ideally, your site loads in milliseconds, a site with a load time of more than a second or two do not help site visitors gain a strong initial impression. Graphics and media are fine, but the larger the file sizes of the content on the website, the slower the website will typically load. The good news is that Google makes it extremely simple to test your website speed, and a wide variety of new website plugins have been developed to help with the load speed at least somewhat.
Make a statement with a statement
The best way to grab someone’s attention in those first eight seconds is with a statement on the website’s home page. It could be a mission statement, a company slogan, or even just raw numbers that demonstrate the company’s success. But in some form or another, you’ve got to use those eight seconds to make a statement of some kind that your target demographic simply cannot ignore. If you do a good enough job crafting this mission statement, it can even help your SEO and lift your site to the top of search engines. On top of having quality content in the statement, the font you use should be easily readable on both desktops and mobile devices.
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A high-quality website design
The truth is that while everybody with a website would love for each visitor to carefully scour every word of every page on that website, this rarely, if ever, happens. So, while you’re still within that eight-second window of attention, make sure you direct your website’s visitors to the content on the website that you want them to check out the most. A clean website design that makes for both a high level of visual appeal and an easy user experience is key.
This can be accomplished fairly easily with buttons on your home page that link to other pages or other visual elements, or if your website is designed to sell a product, buttons that highlight and link to special deals and sales. Menus at the top of the website and along the sidebar can also achieve the same effect if they stand out enough. Lastly, links to your social media pages on each of your landing pages can help you build trust with first-time visitors to your site, and prove your legitimacy.