28 Jul Web Design: Making a Strong First Impression
In business, first impressions count for a lot. A great first impression can lead to a huge sale and a bad one can lead to missed opportunities. In today’s online world, your first impression of a business probably comes in the form of web design.
Your homepage says a lot about you, whether you know it or not. Because of this, your web design needs to create a strong first impression, so you can generate web leads and close more sales.
Making a Strong First Impression
In order to make a strong first impression on website visitors, you need to make sure you have all of these things:
- Clear Navigation
- Calls to Action
- Digestible Messages
- Visually Pleasing Images
How do you make sure you have all of these things? It’s easy to think you have them, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for. Below, we’ll discuss what these things look like and how you can make sure your web design is making a positive first impression.
One of the best ways to turn off a potential lead is to make navigating your site nearly impossible. From hidden menus to broken links, an unclear navigation has the potential to turn customers away and lower your search engine rankings.
You need to make sure that the navigation for your entire site is easy. That means adding appropriate page menus and internal website links for visitors.
When it comes to menus, there are a few different options:
- Main Navigation: This is the navigation bar that appears at the top of your website. With this navigation bar, you don’t have to list all of your pages, but you do need to list the most important pages. For example, if you are a custom home builder, then you need to include an About page, main Services page, a Portfolio page, and a Contact page. From those pages, include links and CTAs that help drive traffic to deeper pages.
- Side Menu: If you are going for a more sleek look to your website, then consider using a side menu that is hidden until someone clicks on the menu button. This type of navigation is great if you don’t want a main navigation bar to distract from content or images on the page. However, you need to make sure that visitors can clearly see and find the menu button.
- Footer Menu: No matter which of the other two menus you use, you should include a menu in the footer of your website. Doing this allows users to easily navigate to any page on your site. Consider breaking the pages up by category like: Quick References, Contact, About, and Services.
Calls to Action
Just like the navigation, if your homepage doesn’t include calls to action, then visitors won’t always know what to do. Calls to action act as guides and prompts to visitors. They move a visitor deeper into the site and help you generate leads.
However, you don’t want to go over the top with your CTAs because that can be a huge turnoff to visitors. Avoid using things like flashy design, overly vibrant colors (unless they are part of your branding), and buttons that take up half of the screen.
Successful calls to action in web design help the overall flow of the web experience. To do this, you need to make sure your CTAs include these things:
- Clear Language: Don’t mislead visitors with unclear CTA language. When someone clicks on a link or button because of a CTA, they should know exactly what to expect on the next page.
- Customized Text: Don’t be lazy with your CTA text. “Click Here” is overused and often overlooked by web visitors. If you’re offering, for example, a free e-book, then consider using something like, “Claim Your Free E-book.” Customized text is a way for you to let visitors know what they need to do.
When you are specific about what you want visitors to do, then they are far more likely to do it. Plus, if they know upfront what you’re expecting, then there’s a good chance they’ll leave with a good impression.
Have you ever gone to a site only to be greeted with a wall of text?
It can be intimidating and you more than likely clicked off the page because you just didn’t want to read that much content.
Good web design that makes a great first impression doesn’t have content on top of content on top of content. Instead, it uses headlines, bullet points, and small sections of text to get its message across.
Because you want your message to be read, you need to carefully consider what your message is. Then, you can craft headlines and subheadlines that really drive your message home and let your visitors know what your brand story is all about.
When it comes to supporting content and bullet points, it’s important to keep the content short, simple, and sweet. Remember that your CTAs and web navigation are going to drive visitors deeper into your website, so supporting content and bullet points should simply help visitors navigate to the right pages and sections of your site.
Visually Pleasing Images
Your site also needs to include great images because people love looking at beautiful things. However, that doesn’t mean you should start including images of whatever you think is pretty and looks great.
For web design to be effective, every piece needs to work together including the images. Your images should support the content and CTAs on your homepage. Going back to our custom home builder example, you would use images of homes you’ve built, interior shots of remodeling jobs, or even design plans. You would not want to use images of commercial buildings or of your dog Fido.
The images also need to be high quality for the Internet. There are few things worse than getting to a homepage and being met by blurry or grainy photos.
Creating Web Design First Impressions
If you’re ready to take your website to the next level, then you need a strategic web design partner that not only delivers aesthetically pleasing sites, but sites that deliver results.