The Top Five Website Design First Impressions

February 28, 2012 Website Design 0 Comments

Recently, we have had a few experiences with website design clients insisting on using free hosting companies or local hosting companies when hosting their sites. As an advocate for shopping local first, I agreed with no conditions only to discover that the server speed was so incredibly slow – it would take up to 30 seconds just for the site to be found by search engines.

Somehow – the hosting company convinced our client that our website design was not optimized for their hosting services. Which is true. It had been so long since we designed a website specifically for dial-up modem speeds that we had simply forgot to design around it. So – here are the top time ‘first impressions’ when it comes to website design.

1. Slow Load Speeds
Pages that load quickly encourage interaction – pages that don’t, simply frustrate visitors and ultimately force them to go elsewhere. If you’re going to stick with free hosting to save a few bucks – you’ll throwing your money away on website design and development.

2. Branding
I often use the analogy of a job interview to discuss the importance of branding. Let’s face it – if you’re site looks like a trailer park after a tornado, I doubt anyone is going to shop there, let alone trust the site owner with a credit card transaction. Great branding increases the perceived value of your product or service, allowing you to charge more for less. It’s no longer enough to simply ‘do business’ but to find new ways of increasing profitability.

3. Typography
Easily accessible content is the catalyst for visitors to participate in the sales pitch. Think about the last email you received from your crazy uncle – written in all caps. Did you read it? Probably not – on to the next point.

4. The Funnel
Having a clear purpose for moving visitors through the website is a lot like the ease and convenience of drive-thru fast food. Make it simple to use, with one purpose and move visitors to your desired outcome without many hurdles. Never seen a speed bump in a drive-thru have you?

5. Advertising Soup
Having been exposed to decades of advertising – consumers are rightfully cynical when it comes to shopping. If you’re site is cluttered with advertising, whatever level of trust consumers have upon visiting your site will most likely plummet. Keep the Google Ad Words to a minimum, be sure they are relevant to your website content.