I am sure most of us have had similar online experiences searching on Google or Yahoo with many results that aren’t very visually appealing. In this circumstance I always find myself doing a lot of “clicking” back and forth. I don’t consider some websites, though they might have been great candidates for the services or products I was looking for because of my first visual glance. Thus, it becomes immediately clear, that the first few seconds of any user’s experience on a website is vital.
Aside from search engine marketing and site usability in a whole, we should look at a just a few crucial elements that will help gain initial interest in any website. Though each of these elements can all be addressed separately – and should be considered different components when building a website, collaboratively they can determine the success of the user’s initial reaction to your website.
1) How is your logo? The size and positioning of your logo can be very important to brand recognition on your website. Visitors can often recognize a cheap attempt at brand marketing, reflecting poorly on the company itself. Other websites I have visited have had such small logos; it was hard to differentiate the company name from the tag-line or other verbiage and text in the header.
2) Do your website colors work well? Though many companies believe that just about any color will do, it most certainly can be argued that colors can stimulate our moods and assist with branding identity. Color palettes can range from groups that reflect warmth and vibrancy to other options that give off a certain sense of serenity and ease. With the right combination of color, you will create an identity that will begin to give your website “life”.
3) How organized is your content? Make sure your text is well-written and balanced in the website layout. Taking into account the font types, sizes and colors will also help build that professional quality that will give certain comfort ability to any visitor on your website.
4) Is there an effective form of navigation? Adding easy “point of reference” buttons, such as a “contact button”, a “schedule an appointment” button or a “shop now” button, to your website will help your users find the most important pages and products first. Users will want the website to have easy to find information relative to the keyword they have searched. Websites with poorly positioned or hard to read navigation are not very inviting and will most likely deter a user from continuing further into the website.
5) Are you using quality graphics? Make sure to utilize images that seem relevant to your company’s services or products in a professional manner. Using stock photography or taking your own images will work, just remember the same rule of thumb applies – quality over quantity.
Moral of this article – Make sure your website reflects your company well and is the most effective upon the first take, so that your online presence gives off a “likeable” first impression.