Creating a first impression with your website

WebsiteFirstImpression

Does your website say what you want it to say?

Most business people have some sort of online presence these days. Many have a website and most serious business owners use a website as a marketing method. If you are looking to create a fantastic first impression, wanting to entice the online visitor to stay, learn and value your business, then you must set up a professional looking website. The first impression your website presents will stay with your visitor. Make sure it’s a good one.

As a new business it’s tempting to use a free website just because you want to save money. Is this a helpful strategy? You don’t necessarily have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on having a website made, but as a foundational part of your business, it should be considered important enough to be a priority when reviewing your budget spending and quite possible to set up a basic website for a manageable fee, including having it hosted somewhere and purchasing a professional domain name. Remember, your basic website can and should evolve overtime into a more robust site, capable of supporting your business in a number of ways.

Yay, they’ve found your site!

After your basic website is up and running and you’ve proudly been telling the world about your site, people will use your website links (your URLs) to arrive on your webpage. Research has shown that you have approximately 5 seconds to entice people to stay on your page. This means you will provide them with something interesting on the page of the site they’ve loaded into their browser. There must be something interesting on every page of your site since almost any page could be the starting point for your visitor. Your Home Page is just one avenue to your website and the value of other pages shouldn’t be overlooked.

Having a website with a quality logo or header is important as it will catch the visitor’s eye and make them want to see what you have to offer. Giving away something on your site is another option. This can be something as simple as a promotional discount or a free how to report that relates to your business. You will need to make this item attractive so the visitor is encouraged to do two things: They will want a copy of the report and they will spend more time on your website, learning about what you do and your offerings.

To get this enticing report your visitor needs to fill out a Sign Up (or Opt-In Box) on your site. This captures their email address and provides you with a list of interested people to follow up with. This box should appear in the top portion of your webpage, approximately the top third (this is known as being Above the Fold). It should be attractive enough and offer something enticing so the visitor will happily exchange their email address for your offer. 

Next? Your content

Other pointers for having an attractive website include making it easy for your visitors to understand what you have to offer. This includes using easy to read content highlighting the features and benefits of your products, services and company. 

When you remember you’ve only got 3-5 seconds to grab your visitor’s attention, you will be able to look at your webpages with a critical eye and make sure you’re creating a compelling website. You will greet your visitors with friendly and inviting pages that go a long way in adding to your overall first impressions your company is making. You’d pay attention to this for your physical location and it should be no different for your online “home.”