Each time an Internet user clicks an URL on the search engine result, it’s actually similar to a blind date. The first few minutes both of you meet each other is the most important moment. How do you know? It’s quite straightforward. Your first impression depends on how the person looks, what the person says and whether the person is on time. These rules also apply to your website. The appearance, content and speed of your site determine whether your visitors are impressed by your site and want to have a “second date” in near future. When people are searching for information or something they want to buy, often there are many sites to choose from. If your site can’t impress them right off the bat, they will hit the back button in a matter of minutes or even seconds. There are plenty of fishes in the cyber-sea; you need to be both impressive and different.
These are three ways to quickly impress visitors:
Site appearance: If there are two sites with similar content or products to sell, it’s natural for visitors to lean to the one that looks better. A good web design makes reading experience more enjoyable and potential buyers may identify it with professionalism and value. It’s obvious that web design should become a priority and if you’re low on budget, it’s a good idea to ask for a help or at least advices from a graphic designer friend. Sites with superior design have the advantage because it may gradually steal visitors from other sites, even if the site has slightly inferior content or products. It’s certainly important to provide clear guideline to your web designer, so he can bring your vision to life. You should take time to create a rough guideline of your site that you think can better represent your aim, business or product. Consult it to your web designer; a good designer should be able to create an impressive site design from your requirements and situation. Don’t make detailed requirements as they may restrict your designer’s imagination. Your requirements may actually be detrimental to your original goals. When reviewing your site’s design, remember what it feels like when you see your blind date for the first time. Make sure your site’s appearance can make an immediate good impression.
Content and/or products: In the first one-minute visitors use your site; they should know what information you’re conveying and/or what products you’re selling. Visual representation is definitely important, but its effect only lasts for a few seconds. Your site may have a good first impression, but your visitors want to know whether your site can offer them the information or products they’re looking for. Your opening sentences should be focused, concise and clear. A site with an award-winning design, would be useless if opened with cryptic sentences full of grammar and spelling errors. Your headlines should shout out loud exactly what you want visitors to hear. Go over your texts dozens of times if necessary or have a qualified proofreader check your copy. It is a bad idea to drown an unwary new visitor or a potential buyer in an endless stream of enigmatic, incomprehensible narrative about your idea, business or products.
Choose the text color and font carefully. There should be an adequate contrast between your font color and the background to allow your visitors to read comfortably. Don’t put orange text on a yellow background. White text on a black background may also be tiring for many readers, despite the contrast. A very small font would be hard to read, but a very large one, would make your site looks unprofessional and bombastic.
Site’s performance: Although it’s acceptable for women to keep their blind dates waiting for 10-15 minutes, it is certainly not acceptable to let your new visitors waiting, even only for five minutes. Your site is not the only option available. If you keep visitors waiting too long, they’ll go to other sites. You should be aware that not everyone has fast DSL broadband connection. If you add a large number of web elements, many people won’t be able to use your site immediately. If you’re using server-side scripts, such as customized CMS, make sure the codes are lean and efficient to reduce the server load especially during peak times. Optimize your images, as most visitors won’t scrutinize the fine details of your images anyway.