How to generate unique impressions to drive leads with your website – By Mike McCarron
People are more impatient than I thought. I’ve been working on a website project and was floored to learn that 50 of visitors spend less than 10 seconds at a site before moving on. The good news is that 67 hang around for almost an entire minute!
For all the effort that goes into site design, prospects sure don’t give you much time to set the hook.
Knowing how to draw people to your site and convert them into customers is far from an exact science. Every expert has a different opinion about it, and these days everyone seems to be an expert.
However, there are some basic principles that every website needs in order to keep visitors engaged.
You don’t have to be a designer to appreciate these principles. But if you’ve hired a website designer, or you’re looking at samples of a designer’s work, here are some things you should consider:
Not Slow and Steady
Nothing makes me bail faster than a site that takes too long to load. Time is critical: 40 of visitors will leave a page when it takes more than three seconds to load.
Many factors can slow a site down but ones you can control include inefficient code, oversized files, and fancy-dancy graphics that no one cares about. In most cases you’re going to need an expert like Dr. Techno to figure out why your website moves like a rail car in the winter.
When it comes to first impressions, people pay more attention to visual cues than to the writing. They judge a site’s usefulness and credibility on its look and feel before they ever process the content they came for in the first place.
Google studied eye movements as people scanned web pages and found that the logo, navigation menu, search box, and main image are viewed before the text.
You may not be a designer but you should be constantly questioning your design choices. Why is the menu over there? How can we make this page load faster? Why did we pick that image?
Ask yourself what the look of your site says about your business. Is it crisp and organized? Are there typos and careless mistakes?
Why do visitors go there? If it’s to place an order or reach customer service, is the process easy and intuitive?
Bad design is a turnoff. Strategic, thoughtful design is worth the investment.
Orange & Green Don’t Match
Since I have to ask my wife every morning if my shirt and tie match I’m probably the wrong person to give an opinion on colors. However, I do think too much time is spent fretting over web color schemes.
Is there really such a thing as a bad color? Sure, color is important. But doesn’t it really boil down to common sense and personal preference?
Keep it simple and in line with your brand identity. Using too many colors or using ones that don’t match creates toxic eye candy that will lead straight to the exit button.
No one wants to read a treatise bragging about great service. When you’re writing text for your site, embrace my Napoleon principle: short paragraphs, sentences, and words.
Put away the Thesaurus and the three-syllable words. Write the way you speak. I’m also a fan of bullet points. They get referenced and remembered more than wordy paragraphs.
Your website is not the place to let the world know you have a degree in English.That’s sheer injudiciousness!
Every Page is a landing Page
People spend more time designing their homepage than any other. Why? Because they assume it’s the first page visitors will see.
In reality, when visitors find you through search engines and links from other sites, they land on other pages within your site. Therefore, make sure every page contains key information, a clear value proposition, and a call to action. You never know which page is going to be called on to make your first impression. Make them all count!
Developing a website is not a static project. It’s a moving target that needs constant measurement, manipulation, and makeover. Putting in the work to get it right after the project is completed is as important as the work you put in getting it started.
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