You don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression. We’ve all heard that an interviewer or stranger at a party forms an impression of you, your character, and your personality — an impression that is nearly indelible — all within the first few seconds of your meeting.
It’s no different with your website. The competition is fierce and anyone visiting your website for the first time has to like what they see, understand how it works and find what they want – or at least how they can find it – all in the space of those precious few seconds. If they can’t – well, they will just go and look elsewhere.
It is essential that your website engages and holds attention instantly, clearly communicating key messages, core values and differentials. Here are Alberon’s top three features you must get right to make a great first impression.
1. Stunning good looks
Appearances do matter. Investing in creative and engaging design will pay dividends. But make sure your web design is truly in keeping with your brand.
The website needs be in perfect shape at all times, whenever and wherever it’s seen. Increasingly, websites are accessed by mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and notebooks, all with different browser sizes, screen resolutions and orientation. A responsive website handles this by automatically adjusting to ensure a consistent user experience.
Because they substantially enhance accessibility, responsive websites enjoy higher hit rates leading to increased sales. If you’re commissioning a new website, incorporate responsive design right from the outset, optimising content for vastly improved usability. Even If your website has already been built and is currently not responsive, we can carry out a ‘retro fit’ so it’s fully compatible with all devices.
Here are examples of responsive websites we have designed and built for our customers.
2. Outstanding user experience
As we all know, it’s not just what’s on the surface that counts. For the relationship to last, your website needs to deliver. Beyond the graphic design, you must make sure that the website works for the user without a hitch.
Concentrate on your objectives. Be clear about your aims, identify and prioritise exactly what you want to achieve. Consider what your website visitors want to achieve from their visit? Whether it is to get information, make a purchase, or simply chat to someone, you need to make sure that the route to reach their goal is quick and simple to follow.
Keep your objectives in mind when briefing a new website, as this can help determine the type of website you select. Every project is different, but typically yours will fall into one of the following categories:
- Directory. Content organised into listings by categories and sub-categories, enabling visitors to easily find information. A payment system can be built in.
- Ecommerce. Online retailing is booming. Streamline the experience with an integrated and secure payment gateway like PayPal, SagePay, Worldpay, ePDQ or Netbanx Works. Can be effective for the display, as well as sales, of products.
- Self-managed. Specify a Content Management System (CMS) for full control of editing and updating.
- Brochure. Ideal for restricted budgets. Usually 5 – 15 pages with optional blog and built-in CMS for full control.
- Feature-rich and bespoke. For a unique and tailored site to put the user experience at the core.
Here are examples of the different types of website we have designed and built for our customers.
3. Terrific content
We tell clients that there are four golden rules for creating great content for websites. Make it:
- Relevant. Tailor the content to your target audience. Make sure you supply the information and details your visitors are looking for.
- Easy to follow. Make it count with a clear message. Use plain and appropriate language for your audience. Don’t overload with too much information that might confuse the user.
- Up-to-date. Old prices, discontinued products, blogs with ancient posts, missing prices or broken links can be frustrating and leave a bad impression. Fresh content can encourage people to come back for more.
- Engaging. Make the experience as interesting as possible. If you can, use case studies, testimonials, photographs and film as well as text.
Our advice is to set out your priorities with one or two key objectives for the website and do it really well – rather than trying to do too much. It will present a clean, clear message that will be easy to understand and communicate, ultimately creating a less confusing and more positive user experience.
Our friendly, highly experienced team of web designers and software developers are dedicated to helping our clients achieve the outcomes they want. From web design and development, to complex software solutions, we apply our creative and technical know-how to deliver the perfect solution.