First impressions are everything. When you meet someone for the first time, you can get a fairly accurate pulse on how well you may connect with that person through a simple evaluation.
What sort of style do they have? How do they dress? Are they quiet and reserved or loud and boisterous? Are they open in their dialogue or closed off? What’s their body language like?
The same goes for websites. Websites can communicate a lot about a business just through simple elements of design, messaging, voice (brand personality), and more. But, unlike meeting people for the first time, you don’t always get a second chance to win a prospective customer over. In a matter of seconds, a person may have their minds made up about whether or not they want to use your company’s products or services just by the look and feel of your website.
To make a good first impression with prospective customers, and keep existing customers engaged and excited about your brand, you may want to consider these improvements:
- Fresh look and design
- Clear CTA’s
- Mobile responsiveness
- SEO elements
Fresh look and design
Looks aren’t everything, but they are usually the first thing to grab people’s attention.
Giving your website a “fresh look” with updated design features is one way to show your audience that you care. Not only do you care about the perception of your company and the brand you’re trying to build, but you care about the UX (user experience).
You may have heard the expression, “dress for the job you want to have.” This principal can also be applied to web design. If you want to be competitive in your industry, especially on the digital front, you have to stay relevant and up with the trends. But, don’t mistake this for conformity. Make changes that make sense for your brand, while keeping your target in mind.
Design quick wins:
Add a new accent color or tweak existing colors. You don’t have to change your color palette entirely, but different shades and tones can elicit a new feel on your site for your visitors.
Refresh your hero content. Speaking of first impressions, hero content is the first visual aspect of your website that visitors see. Refreshing your hero content with compelling imagery and verbiage can make a positive impression, and may even keep visitors on your website longer.
Create graphics to support your content. User attention spans are consistently low, so providing them with aiding visuals increases your chances that the content you’ve worked hard to create will actually be read.
Use cohesive, branded imagery. People draw connections through visuals, so when you use branded imagery that is consistent with the use of color, typography, and even size — visitors will more readily identify those images with your brand. This helps build your brand’s identity.
Design can speak volumes about your brand, and where it’s going. Updating the look and feel of your website with a design that is both inviting and professional, while accurately conveying your brand’s message and identity is always a win in our books.
Clear Call to Actions (CTAs)
Converting visitors into leads and customers happens through relevant call to actions (CTAs). More often than not, people visit your website with a need to be met or question to be answered. The quicker you present them with a clear CTA, the more likely they are to take some sort of action.
Creating more CTAs also leads the user to the interior pages, which gives them more opportunities to access and engage with more of your content.
What does a good CTA look like? Following visual cues is something your visitors are already accustomed to. A good CTA is one one that uses a relevant color (or color variations) and actionable messaging.
Quick wins for CTAs:
Email signups. If one of your marketing goals is to get more people to subscribe to your email list, sprinkling in email signups throughout your website is a great best practice.
A/B testing button. A/B testing for CTA buttons can be a simple, yet effective way to help increase clickthrough rate. To run the test, you would change the text and/or color of the button, and direct them to the same landing page. You would then measure the results to see which had the highest clickthrough rate, and use those results to determine which CTA button works best.
Use actionable language. The language you use is more than just the CTA button itself. You want to speak directly to the visitor in a way that encourages them to take action, without being too pushy or “salesy.” The way you write your CTA will depend on the product or service you’re offering, as well as the action you’re wanting them to take.
Take a look at Evernote. Their CTA is clear, concise, and approachable. They let you know exactly what you’re getting and how their services can meet your needs directly.
Not only that, but you can sign up for free, with no strings attached.
You didn’t think we could share all the helpful tips (or at least a few of them) without talking about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), did you? There’s a reason for that.
While you always want to design for the user first, SEO is still the driving force behind for visibility. You can build a beautiful website with strong branding, messaging, and compelling images, but without SEO elements — the world may never see it (literally). Get MAKE insider tips for your SEO journey here.
Driving quality traffic to your website starts with understanding best SEO practices. Since most of online traffic is driven by search engines, you need to know how to optimize your website to improve rankings on search, and ultimately drive more quality visitors to your site.
SEO quick wins:
Perform keyword research. Keyword research provides you with a more in depth understanding of your target market and how they’re searching for your product or services. You can learn about which keywords are most popular, how often keywords are used (search volume), what your competitors are currently ranking for, and more. Taking the time to perform this research will help you write the best and most relevant content using the right headings and keyword to give your audience what they’re looking for. You can use keyword research tools like Ahrefs, SEM Rush, or Google Keyword Planner to get started.
Refresh your H1s. H1s are extremely influential in search rankings. If you’ve already optimized your H1s with keywords your audience is searching for, it’s important to get in the habit of refreshing them. This may require additional keyword research, but switching up H1s can help keep your pages updated and most relevant to searcher’s queries. Quick tip: a good H1 should cover the topic of the page, have a long-tail keyword, and seek to satisfy or answer user intent.
Internal linking updates. Internal linking strategies are more for Google, than anything else, but they can also help users better navigate your website. Google uses links to decipher a page’s relevance, the relationship between content on your website, as well as the value it holds. All of these factors play into how well Google understands your webpages, which can directly affect how well your website ranks. Make sure you have internal links to the pages with the most well-rounded and complete content that you want people to find when performing searches.
If you’re brand new to SEO, we recommend looking into MOZ’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO. You can learn all about why SEO is important, keyword research, and other best practices to improve your website.
Start with MAKE Digital Group
At MAKE Digital Group, we design websites… for a living (and we love doing it). Our team brings years of experience, along with some of the most hardworking designers and developers to every website project we have the opportunity to work on.
Through innovative design, branding, and messaging, we can deliver a website that not only helps your brand initiatives, but will improve your visitor’s overall experience. Ready to get started? Let’s chat.