By Susan Price
Visitors to your website know how to use Google, Bing and Yahoo. Your competitors are always just a click away. With only a few seconds to make your case, you?ve got to make the most of that critical first impression. Here’s how.
1. Be findable.
Your site can be friendly and optimized for Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search sites, or it can be virtually invisible to the people you are trying to reach. The content on the page and the way it’s coded matters. We optimize your site for keywords and phrases that your key audiences, prospects or users are looking for. And we can show you how well it’s working.
2. Offer value right away.
Give the user who entered your URL or clicked your link in a search results listing some immediate positive reinforcement. Welcome them with who you are and what you can do for them ? in their words. Offer the quality content and experience they’re looking for, or they’ll click the Back button.
3. Don’t make users work or wait for what they want.
Users are busy and easily distracted, so present options clearly and right away in a straightforward manner. No amateurish designs, technical gimmicks, or misspellings. Your site must work in their browser, whether PC or Mac, laptop or smart phone, and load quickly.
4. Lay out the options clearly.
Show users right away, directly, what they can do on your site. Don’t waste their time playing games with navigation, or forcing them to watch a cool intro movie or dig through long lists of options. State clearly what you do, sell, offer. If there are many options, organize them so well that users can quickly scan through them and find what they came for.
5. Reflect your brand in the best light possible.
The images, video, colors, the tone of the text ? all can drive emotional connection and motivation, and it’s all part of your branding. Every element of your website can work together to further your business goals ? or push them out of your reach. Make sure to create a brand impression that drives your business in the direction you want it to go.
LET US HELP
Firecat Studio works through these issues and many more on every single website design, eNewsletter, landing page, Tweet, YouTube video and banner ad. We can help you maximize that critical first impression. Contact us for a free evaluation of your own home page.
Susan Price is an industry expert in user-centered website design. She’s available for speaking and consulting engagements.