When it comes to website design, first impressions count a lot. A visitor to your site will take just a few seconds to decide whether they want to stay and look around or whether they hit the back button and return to their list of search results, moving on to another site they find more visually appealing, or that instantly looks like it will be able to solve their problems.
Just as a dreary shop window will not entice customers through the door, or an untidy desk might deter clients from engaging your services, an out of date or shabby looking website can prevent people from wanting to find out more about what services and products you offer.
Your website has probably evolved as your business has grown, sadly, that sometimes means that as information and pages have been added or updated, your website design may have been compromised. This not only gives a bad first impression but more importantly, it can make it difficult for your visitors to find the information they need to buy, book or contact you.
But help is at hand, here are five simple tips to help you enhance your website design and give your visitors a great first impression of your business.
- Be familiar – Try not to reinvent the wheel with your website design. There’s a reason that contact details are often top right or bottom left of a website page because that’s where visitors tend to look for them!
- But not too familiar – One of the most commonly visited pages on your website is your about page. Make sure your visitors know not just what you do, but why you’re qualified to do what you do. I believe a picture of you or your team members is an absolute necessity on your about page. But here’s the thing… While it’s cool to give a peek into your personality, I don’t want to see you in your gym gear unless you’re a personal trainer. Invest in some professional headshots that you can use throughout your digital marketing.
- A picture paints a thousand words – Imagery is an important part of fabulous website design. If you’re selling a product, it’s important to invest in good quality (clear cut) product images. A single striking feature image on your home page will convince visitors to delve further into your website. Avoid grainy, poorly sized images at all costs. And (here’s my absolute bugbear) always ensure that any imagery you do use respects copyright law and has been purchased legitimately.
- But copy is always king – You can have the best imagery in the world but unless your content is engaging your visitors will disappear as fast as they came. Aim to knuckle down your brand’s key messaging or unique selling proposition into just one short sentence for your home page. You don’t have to try to write everything that you do on your homepage, just enough to convince your visitors to want to find out more. If you have trouble composing this yourself a professional copywriter can come in very useful here. Check out CopyKate for copywriting to rule the
- Looks aren’t everything – Whilst first impressions are everything, it takes more than looks to get visitors to linger. It’s really important to think about the functionality of your site. Does it load quickly? Is it mobile responsive? Does it have clear calls to action, so your visitors know where to go for the information they need? All of these are important elements that will ensure you give a great first impression!