First impressions hold a lot of weight in online sales. It takes less than 15 seconds to form a first impression, and once that impression is made, it’s hard to change it. For that reason, making a good first impression with your website is paramount to increasing your sales and furthering your brand reach.
If you’re struggling with conversions and sales on your website, it might be time to improve the customer’s first impression. Here are some things you can do.
1. Use Video
Video content is the most important tool for website builders today. Videos capture attention better than both blog content and images combined. Research shows that 90 percent of customers use video to influence their buying decisions with two thirds reporting being more likely to buy when they watch a video. Video also generates 66 percent more leads than other content forms, and they’re more likely to produce conversions.
You can use video to present informational or entertaining content, but one of the most useful applications of video is testimonials. This website that sells CBD capsules, for example, uses video testimonials to provide social proof of their products. It’s highly effective at drawing attention and increasing brand awareness.
If you haven’t mastered the use of video on your website, now is a good time to start. Experts predict that 80 percent of all online traffic will be video by the year 2021, which will be here before you know it. Don’t let your competitors get ahead of you because you haven’t yet incorporated video into your own website and blog.
2. Limit Wait Times
If it takes longer than three seconds for your website to load, consumers are more likely to abandon the page. If you’re experiencing high bounce rates, your site speed might be the problem. Cache your files, switch hosting, run a compression audit, and perform other updates to improve your conversion rates by up to 7 percent.
A key part of speeding up your website is eliminating down time. Many websites that are not properly maintained will go down frequently for long periods of time. Every second that your site is offline, you’re losing money. Invest in ways to keep your site running constantly, whether it’s upgrading your web hosting service or putting time and money into better web development.
Consumers also get frustrated when they have to wait for a link to load and then discover that it’s broken and goes nowhere. It can be somewhat time consuming to fix broken links, banners, and ads, but it will establish better credibility and improve a consumer’s overall impression of your site.
Invest in tools to keep your website running well from the beginning. Certain tools can check your links, report down time, alert you of slowdowns, and publish regular reports of the quality of your website. These investments are well worth your time and money.
3. Tidy and Simplify
Less is usually more with website design. Visitors tend to stick around when the design of your site is clean, simple, and plain. The best websites have plenty of white space rather than packing content into every square inch of the page.
Stick to the conventions of modern web design. It’s okay to assert some creativity, but use simple navigation and a sans-serif font to make it easier for visitors to consume the content.
4. Emphasize Your Brand
A well-branded website will leave a better impression on your target audience than anything else. When consumers recognize your website as part of a bigger brand – hopefully one that they recognize – it will create a connection between you and them that they trust.
A consistent brand involves using the same typography, logo, image types, colors, and voice as you do in every other presentation of your business. This means your social media content, packaging, blog, and website will look similar. When you have a well-branded site, you don’t have to worry about making the right impression on your consumers—a good impression will come naturally.
5. Provide High-Value Content
Even though research shows that first impressions are 94 percent related to design, the content is still very important. Their initial impression will be formed by the colors, fonts, and imagery you use, but it will be cemented in their minds alongside your content.
High-value content aims to solve a customer’s problem. Before its creation, you should carefully analyze the primary reasons that a customer might visit your site. Then, let each video, text block, image, and blog post solve that problem.
Perhaps even more important is pointing out only the key points, particularly on your homepage. Too much content will be overwhelming to your consumers, and they’re more likely to seek out a competitor who has less to say. Keep it concise with calls-to-action in order to solicit a positive response.
6. Utilize Directional Scroll
Websites designed according to modern conventions often have a long-term scroll feature. It takes users up to a minute to scroll from the top of the page to the bottom, all the while taking in the content and value provided there.
This is a fantastic way to catch your users’ attention. This is not only a familiar design convention (which consumers typically love), but it also keeps them more engaged with your site because they’re performing an action while they scroll.
Because you’re letting directional scroll take center stage, you no longer have to use the traditional conventions of web design that dictate above-the-fold design. Users don’t need all the most important information at the very top. Instead, it can be spread throughout the home page, letting your visitors explore the high-value information on their own terms and time.
Let directional scroll keep their attention, pointing their eyes to what you want them to see. You might direct them to a highly-useful video, a call-to-action, or your social pages. No matter what your goal is for a webpage, make sure that your design is dedicating to getting their eyes there. They’ll walk away with the right impression if you’ve succeeded with this essential design element.