Category Archives: The First Few Seconds

The First Few Seconds

Test Your Site for Those First Few Seconds

We all know that when a new visitor arrives at our site, we have a few seconds to convince that visitor that our site is worth delving into. If the site doesn’t pass that first scrutiny, then the visitor goes on to another site. Here’s an approach for you to evaluate your site for that first sizing-up by a visitor. Just give your site a quick look and answer these questions:

1. What do you see first?

When you first look at your site, what’s the first thing you notice? Is it really important? This first look may be the only look if you don’t start getting your message across.

2. Can you tell the topic of the site?

In this quick look, can you immediately tell what’s the topic of the site? Your visitor is looking for specific information. Make sure she can tell what information you’re offering on the site.

3. Can visitors understand the benefits?

Make sure that it’s easy for visitors to understand the benefits of what you offer. Lower cost? Better function? And make it apparent during that first inspection of the home page.

4. Is the most important information above the fold?

Can the visitor find important information without scrolling down? If not, that downward scroll may never occur.

5. Do you present a clear call to action?

What do you want the visitor to do? Make an appointment? Subscribe to you newsletter? Check for availability? Make sure that’s very apparent in the visitor’s first look at the site.

6. Are the fonts and colors distracting?

Do your colors and animation and fonts make the home page easy to read or do they cause distractions? Do you have a dark color background and lighter letters, which makes your site harder to read? Don’t let the design get in the way of the message.

7. Do you feel a personal connection?

Remember that you’re trying to inform and persuade at a distance, so it’s essential to create trust. Use a friendly, conversational style to connect to visitors. Be straightforward and be honest.

8. Does your home page have links to social media?

Before making that final decision, visitors may want to do more research. So have a presence on FaceBook and YouTube and have favorable reviews on Yelp and photos in Flickr. And link to them from your home page.

The Bottom Line

Each visitor who arrives at your site is precious. You may have paid for them through paid advertising, or you may have worked on your site for months to attract free search traffic. Or you may have worked hard to get referring sites. Now that the visitor has arrived, make sure that your site is hospitable on that first glance so that you don’t send them to the competition.
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