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Estes Media blog

Website Appearance: First Impressions Matter

introduction

Why Having a Beautiful Website is SO Important

Did you know your website has only a second or two to capture attention, engage visitors, and inspire their trust in your business? In fact, a study of the Human-Oriented Technology Lab at Carleton University shows that users form an opinion (first impression) regarding a new website in only 50 milliseconds! — mind-blowing. When someone enters your website, it often delivers the first impression of your brand and business to that person. This means that the first impression of your website can be a determining factor in whether they will choose your business or a competitor’s. Is your site slow, ugly, or user-hostile, or is it beautiful, quick, intuitive, easy to use, and able to answer all their questions? Visitors who see a modern, beautiful, intuitive website are likelier to have a good impression of your business. This means they have a higher chance of spending more time engaging with your brand on your website — i.e., getting to know you, i.e., reading, subscribing, purchasing, etc. On the other hand, the user is less likely to interact when met with an old, slow, and poorly built website — and many immediately leave before a slow site ever loads. This drives bounce rate, hurts Google search and more. In short, a beautiful website with a smooth, fast experience builds the first relationship with your audience and guides them onto what you want them to do next. See how at Estes Media we serviced one of our clients on developing and designing their website here. We ensured their site was easy to manage, maintain, and optimize so it finds the right people.

 

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1. The Importance of “The Look” of a Website

For first impressions, visual appeal even beats usability. Not only does it beat it, but it also drives it. Stanford University has performed extensive research and found that most consumers evaluate your business initially based on the visual website design alone. Yes, you read it right: visitors will judge you based on what they see. Many websites may have great content written and/or products to sell, but no one will read or purchase anything just because of how the website looks — and feels. This includes aspects of layout, colors, typography, images, and videos. This research also demonstrated that a website design must match the business purpose, so it’s critical that what you show on your website represents 100% of your company’s essence and values. “The Look” of a website is a prevalent phrase used by designers all the time while designing and developing a website’s outlook. Wondering which attributes describe a good landing page experience? Here are the three main web design tips Estes Media consider when designing your website that will make your visitors feel at home and keep them interested in your offering:

Text and Color: Text and Color are basic elements that can say a lot about your company at first sight. For instance, if all the text on your website is in black and white, and an elegant script font is used, a visitor will feel that your brand is more lux and upmarket.

Media Content: According to a study by Eye View, adding a video to your web page increases your conversion rate by 80%-86% within a week of implementation! This is a great way to retain your audience, capture visitors’ attention, and enhance user experience. It’s crucial to ensure your media content is optimized for quick loading times and appropriately embedded.

Layout Composition: The layout composition of your business and brand must be aligned with the above elements and act as an adhesive holding it all together to represent your company’s voice and brand image.

When developing and designing a website, the Estes Media team ensures the site looks good and is functional for every device. Then, the team implements all the feel elements below to boost the overall user experience and conversions as the final result.

 

2. The Importance of “The Feel” of a Websites UX 

What is the point of having a good-looking website that is slow to load, difficult to use, and leaves viewers feeling lost and impatient? Obviously, that is a good enough reason for them to leave — and never come back. So, how do you avoid this? Well, here are a few key points at Estes Media we consider when designing a website that will convert visitors into customers:

Browsing Journey: Navigating through the content and pages in your website should feel natural, fast, and easy to all visitors — and not like a task where they feel like they need a lot of time to search for where the content they are looking for is hidden. We make sure that the website we’re creating doesn’t only have to be visually appealing, but all the information should be accessible and guide visitors to take action. Some of the best practices Estes Media does for achieving a successful website browsing experience are:
• Ensure the navigation menu is easy to find, not overly detailed, and clean.
• When using multiple categorical divisions in the navigation, all heading elements should be clickable links.
• Optimize your website for Mobile.
• Have an intuitive content structure where visitors understand the purpose of the content and site.
• Use accurate copy to describe the linked page so visitors know what they’re going to get.
• A compelling CTA(s) will help your audience know how to take that next step in the purchase-making process, which will help you see an increase in conversions.
• Readily accessible contact and location.

Page Speed: One of the first things we focus on when building a website is optimizing the page load speed. Even if a website’s content is well-designed, and marketing-SEO efforts are successful, it’s still crucial that visitors can quickly access it. Why? People don’t like to wait too long for web pages to load, and they will likely abandon a website altogether if a page takes more than a few seconds to load. Plus, an unoptimized page speed can hurt site rankings in search engines, preventing websites from being seen. According to HubSpot, there are plenty of best practices you can use for optimizing your website speed, such as: fixing errors, making sure media sizing it’s correct, cleaning cache, etc.

Interactive Elements: Finding ways to make a website more interactive is a great way to make visitors feel engaged and spend more time on it. Functions like image maps and animations allow seamless transitions between pages and features while creating an animated but polished and professional look. While something like an animated button is not incredibly important for creating a fantastic website, it adds something extra that can really impress.

Create Value: Visitors have short attention spans, so at Estes Media we always ensure to show accurate and relevant content at first sight. In order to create more engaged sessions for each visitor — and convert viewers into customers — we add value in multiple ways by providing valuable information about our client’s business and empowering the visitor to find the information, product, or service they are looking for — and most important — act upon it. We also ensure visitors get the most value out of our client’s product or/and service by providing valuable resources they can use to educate themselves on all it offers. Having elements like blogs, demonstrations, tutorials, FAQ pages, and responsive customer service on your website can help visitors understand your product or service and maximize its use.

 

3. Top 7 Website Red Flags 

Website design combines form and function to make a website attractive, enjoyable, and usable. There are specific spoken and unspoken “rules” web designers must follow. Unfortunately, companies sometimes don’t truly understand the concepts of quality websites and their vast benefits, leading to a less-than-ideal website. Let’s review some of the common website mistakes that you should pay attention to:

#1 Over Designing: Too much going on can confuse your audience. Visitors who can’t understand what your site is about within a few seconds of arriving on your site will leave.

#2 Generic Content: l Visitors want to know who you are and what your business will do for them. That’s why copywriting and content creation should always be based on your target audience and industry. A vague general copy will not resonate with your audience enough to drive engagement or separate you from your competitors.

#3 Excessive Copywriting: Incorporating too much text into a website is a big mistake. Break text up where possible and use visual elements to represent concepts. No one wants to be greeted with the Great Wall of text on your site.

#4 Stale Content: Content should constantly be updated; otherwise, visitors might think you’ve gone out of business or are out of touch. This will also cause your SEO rankings to drop.

#5 Low-Quality Media: Media that isn’t the highest quality makes your brand appear cheap, dated, and out of touch with the times.

#6 Hidden Navigation: Navigation issues will quickly kill your website’s popularity. If people can’t quickly find the information or page they want, they will leave. Make sure the navigational aspects of your website are easily understood and even easier to notice.

#7 Links To External Sites: Although there are many benefits to having external links on your website, they should only be used sparingly to keep potential customers from leaving.

 

4. DIY VS. Website Professional Design

Knowing that having a positive first impression through website design is guaranteed to attract new customers and increase sales/conversions for your business, you must carefully consider your website design choices and the professionals who will work on them. At Estes Media, we can help you create a website to meet your audience’s needs and business goals. We know how to analyze and interpret the various factors that affect the user experience, and we’ll make sure that your website looks like a clean mess. Plus, you won’t have to spend weekends studying web design principles or mental models to create a website that meets your target demographic’s needs. On the other hand, there are many options for creating your website on your own. If you have a small business or are considering redesigning your site, it’s worth considering Wix or Squarespace. These tools offer a monthly or annually paid website software service with a drag-and-drop design interface that makes it super easy for non-professionals to use and learn, but you will likely spend 100 hours or so on this project, so make sure to allocate appropriate bandwidth. You’ll find different personalized training videos if you need more technical capabilities. There is no requirement to learn how to code (but you can code if you want to!)

 

Estes Media Blog Website Appearance: First Impressions Matter

 

conclusion

A beautiful website will distinguish your business from other competitors on the web. Not only that, but it will also attract more potential customers and improve your conversion rate. In addition to creating a good impression, a well-designed website provides a great user experience, meaning they will return. At Estes Media, we are experts in SEO, Content Creation, and Web Design and Development. Contact us today!

 

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