These days, your website is the first impression you make to the outside world. And your website should speak volumes about your company with-in only a few seconds. That's how long it takes for a new visitor, or customer, to assess your company for performance, credibility, relevance and usability.
Most new business is now generated online and if your website's first impression does not present you as a professional and reputable company — you'll lose that visitor quickly.
In order to make a good first impression, we've compiled a short list of ideas to help you make sure your first impression is a good one. The critical part of the first impression is "visual". So our focus will be on the first 10th. of a second you have to present yourself online.
Carefully select the colors of your site so you don't create confusion in your visitors’ eyes.
Visitors will not stay and browse through your site if colors are overpowering or if the layout doesn’t make sense in your use of images and color palette. Choose one size and color for font headings and one size and color for text content descriptions.
The same practice goes for your navigation, text links and other focus items such as icons and images you want visitors to follow.
Your corporate colors help identify you with your customers.
Choosing the right colors for your online shop will help grow your brand and company image. Keeping your color palette to two or three colors is recommended to keep it simple and clean. Here are some simple psychologically proved ideas for choosing a color palette:
If possible choose a light colored background in the main area and at the bottom of your pages for products and page footers. In brick and mortar shops — buyers are reluctant to act with-in a too dark or poorly back-lit shop. The text and content can also be lost with dark backgrounds on websites.
Make sure the color of your text and background are contrasting. If the text is hard to read on the background — change it. It is wiser to use a white background to avoid wasting time clipping images.
Legibility of text depends on the difference in brightness between the foreground colors and the background. Therefore ensure that the contrast is high enough (without exaggerating: some people have difficulty reading black text on a white background. In some cases the brightness may be too high for some visitors). A good trick is to use a dark gray for text against white backgrounds.
Do not use text with the same color as the background. This practice was a trick web masters used to use to improve websites ranking on search engines in the early days. Currently, search engines are aware of this trick and will penalize your site or even blacklisted your site in search engine results.
Adjust the color settings of your screen: screen configurations vary considerably from one computer to another. Visit a computer store to try and compare your site on multiple computers, or use other computers in your office to ensure legibility.
Always choose pictures and colors in harmony with your own business personality and your products. Combined with your logo, images should reflect your ability to communicate your passion, products and business ideals to buyers.
Make sure you optimize your images to load fast and test on different computers or Internet connections. Speed is a key factor in loading your site on visitors browsers. If your images and pages on your site don't load in under a second - you'll lose that visitor.
Avoid using call to action (buy now, contact us) buttons that are the same color as the core colors of your site. Contrasting colors for your call to action buttons will definitely get better conversion rates as they draw attention and promote the activity quicker.
Put yourself in the shoes of the visitors. Can they find what they are looking for easily? Does your navigation to sub-pages and departments make sense? Is your home page overloaded with color?
A good practice to get into is to ask others how they perceive your website, and get suggestions from them. Even if you don't like what they have to say — keep an open mind and adjust your design to suite your visitors. Don't get trapped into building a site fixed to what you think visitors should see.
Stay sober and straightforward in your presentation. The idea is to sell yourself (your business) and help customers remember your website so they either buy on the first visit, or remember you to return at a later date.