When a completely new visitor visits your website it’s a bit like a blind date. They type in your URL or click on your link with a sense of anticipation... then they set eyes on your homepage and form an instant impression about your whole website, your products and services, your organisation and your very future together based on this impression.
First impressions count!
Your homepage is like your website’s best outfit when it’s out on the town looking for love. It has the power to repel people immediately (this is recorded in your web analytics and given as the bounce rate); or to entice them in and cause them to delve a little deeper. And then this little flirtation may lead to a little physicality, i.e. more link clicking on your site, and then hopefully you get to second base where they actually read stuff you’ve written rather than just flit around.
Some web visitors may be a little easy and ‘put out’ (e.g. purchase from you) on a first date – score! But some will definitely require a few more dates, some chatting up and maybe a little alcohol before they’ll do the deed. This is why you need your website to be irresistible from the first encounter.
If a visitor gets to your blind date and isn’t smitten by the initial chemistry or the appearance of your site you still might be able to convince them to stay and hold hands for a bit if you have rich and sexy content.
At this point I want to talk About Us. Not about you and me, no I mean your About Us page. If a visitor is making their mind up about you, they will probably look on your About Us page to get a deeper sense of who you are, what you stand for, how you do business and whether you resonate with their values. This applies equally to your potential customers as to your non-purchasing visitors who are interested in you as a possible employer, information source, investment or community hub. They’re not necessarily buying from you but you have much to gain from impressing them.
About Us is a great place to build trust and add personality and flavour – which means you can be a little creative, a little visual. It doesn’t mean detailing your organisational history in 8 paragraphs of text. It can include graphics, photos, bios of your staff or a cartoon that conveys your company culture. Even better, you can organically insert links to other parts of your site which helps your search engine optimisation.
Your website will never have a second chance to make a first impression. To stay attractive you need to take care of its appearance, maintain your content and present your best profile as time goes on. Follow this approach and you’ll increase your chances of love at first site.