A few months ago, I saw an Instagram post shared by @awe.mommy. In the photo, a young toddler is pictured playing in his toy food truck. His mom summed up her hilarious experience with his food service. “This is my last time eating from this food truck. The owner/cook is naked, the food tastes like plastic and when I grabbed the smoothie he threw the plate at me. I give it 1 star.”
Being a mom myself, the post gave me a good laugh. But then it got me thinking about first impressions we make as business owners and how the nature of making first impressions has changed dramatically in the last twenty years or so.
The days of in-person first impressions are long gone. Now, as business owners, we almost always make first impressions to potential customers in an online space either through our websites or social media. Are we taking that opportunity as seriously as we would if it were in person? Are you going to the same lengths to present yourself online as you would if you had a physical location? If I had to guess, your physical location would look nice, organized, and professional. It would reflect your brand and the product or service you offer. What about your website?
It’s very easy to underestimate the importance of your website because you don’t get to witness customers interacting with it like you would at your shop or in a meeting. Think about the difference between working at a location where you see multiple clients/customers cycle in and out throughout the day. You interact, you converse, and you get live feedback on what they like and how they feel about your products or services.
Your website is SUCH a different experience. That is why it’s often easily overlooked. If you aren’t actively gathering intel on the user’s experience with your site, you may never even know they visited it. But I’m here to tell you, they are!
They are still interacting with you, sizing you up, and deciding how your product/services make them feel. They are still very much coming and going and all the while asking themselves, “Is this product for me?” The only difference? It all happens online. While this can be overwhelming at first, it’s also pretty amazing that all of this can occur while you are sleeping soundly at night or sitting on the beach thousands of miles away!
You may have completely forgotten about your site. Maybe it’s outdated or on the backburner for now. I’m here to give you that little nudge and remind you that your website is the first impression for your business. This is crucial! You don’t often get second chances with first impressions, so DON’T waste them. I encourage you to visit your website right now and view it from the eyes of your ideal client who has yet to meet you. Is this the first impression you want to make?
Here are some basic features your website should have to create a great first impression.
Your website clearly states what service/product you offer and who it’s for.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to clearly communicate what you offer and who it’s for. This may seem obvious or unnecessary because you know everything there is to know about your services/products. But, your potential customers don’t! Take it a step further and tell them what results they will see. How will it impact them emotionally? All of this information should be on your homepage before your customer ever has to scroll.
Your website includes calls to action (CTA’s) throughout to help guide the visitor to whatever desired action you want for them.
A call-to-action is just a fancy phrase for “Schedule A Consult Here!” or “Buy Now!” or “Book Today!” All of these statements encourage your website user to act. Tell your website visitors what they need to do. Should they contact you, purchase online, or schedule a call? Calls to action are typically placed in button form, so all your user has to do is click, and voilà, they can perform the work! Don’t leave your customers with any question of what they should do. Be sure there is a CTA right on the homepage before they even have to scroll.
Your website is clear, well-organized, and straightforward.
Simplicity is key in designing a powerful website. Your website visitor lives in a digital age, and information overload is a very real thing. They have options and LOTS of them, right at their fingertips (literally)! You need to get their attention quickly with short, punchy, yet simple statements. I see so many websites with walls of text on their homepage. Your user does NOT want to read a novel. They want to know what you offer and how you are going to help them. Simple, right? 😉 Focus on crafting a few powerful sentences for your homepage that will really get the attention of your user.
Your website has high-quality images and graphics.
This is huge. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? If the picture is grainy, stretched, and has horrible lighting, what words are coming to your visitor’s mind? They are probably thinking you don’t care much about your business. Don’t let this happen to you!
There are plenty of options for high-quality images out there to prevent this from happening. CAUTION: Before you ever use an image, make sure you have the proper license to do so! Otherwise, you could end up in trouble for using an image you don’t own! You can either purchase stock photos or look into free stock photo sites like www.unsplash.com or www.pixabay.com. The absolute best way to get high-quality images for your website is to hire a professional photographer to take branded images for you. Or you can hire a designer to create custom graphics that embody your brand and will really make a lasting impression on your customers. Whatever you do, be sure your website has nice, professional images and graphics that elevate the impact instead of detracting from it.
If you are looking for more great tips on how to create a website that converts download my free guide, 5 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Converting and How to Fix It. Also, join my Facebook group where I share more ways you can create an impactful website that brings you customers while you sleep! Lastly, you can find me on Instagram here!
Until next time!