We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but the truth is that we do it all the time. We are bombarded with so much information every day that we have no choice. That’s why it’s crucial that you have a great website that makes a fantastic first impression by focusing on the most important parts.
Research has shown that people form an opinion of a website in under three seconds. Of course, people aren’t just making up their mind about your website either. A potential client is forming an opinion of your business, based on your website.
That’s good news and bad news. Here’s why. If your website makes a great first impression, you’re already a long way towards converting an undecided customer into a potential paying client. Later on, that person may be willing to overlook a higher price point or a perceived flaw in the product.
On the other hand, if your website leaves a bad taste in a potential client’s mouth, that’s going to make it harder for you to make the sale. In this case, a client may actually ignore the good you have to offer, and only see the bad.
That’s not good!
So before we look at how to make a positive first impression, let’s first check out where people spend the most time looking when they first open a new website.
What Grabs the Most Attention on Your Site
Certain parts of your website are more important than others. Have you heard of the 80/20 principle before? It’s an idea that states that 20% of the work is responsible for 80% of the result. In this case, just 20% of your website is going to be responsible for forming 80% of a person’s first impression.
The single most important part of your website when it comes to a first impression is your website’s logo. People spend 6.48 seconds looking at your logo when they first open your page. Next up is the navigation menu. This receives 6.44 seconds of eyeball time. That’s followed by the search box with just over 6 seconds, links to social sites at 5.95 seconds and your primary image, which receives attention for 5.94 seconds.
Most people will spend less than a minute looking at a brand new website. If you add up all the times above, it comes out to 30 seconds. That means that potential clients are going to look at those five crucial areas for half the time of their initial stay. Daunting, but not if you get it right. Make a great first impression, back up that impression with a well designed website and you’re going to have a steady stream of new customers.
How to Go from Zero to Hero
The first thing you should do is hire a designer to make your logo. People spend more time looking at your logo than anything else on your website. For them, that logo will come to represent your company. Don’t be afraid to spend more than $500 when hiring a designer, if you have the budget. 99Designs.com is a great place to start looking for someone to make your logo. Superiocity also offers this service.
Next up, you’ll want to make sure your that your navigation menu is simple and easy to use. You shouldn’t have ten different options at the top of your site, use sub-menus. Also, use easy to understand language. Sometimes the urge to be creative hits us all, but when you’re naming your navigation menu, you want to keep it traditional.
You’ll also want to be sure to keep your social icons displayed prominently. People like to connect with a business on social media, and you want to make it as easy for them to do so. Don’t be afraid to have links to your social profiles in several different places on any given page.
Finally, your primary image should knock people out of the park. It should be catchy and well done. This is especially true if your business revolves around selling a product. If that’s the case, you should definitely consider hiring a professional to photograph your product(s). The upfront expense might be a hit to your wallet but in the long run, it’s going to be worth it.
By investing in a solid website, you’re investing in the future of your company. The more positive first impressions you make, the more people are going to contact you or buy your product online. First impressions are crucial, and if you want to stay relevant you can’t afford to not make a good one.