You Only Get One Shot…Don’t Blow It!

shutterstock_156863096People make snap judgments; in fact, it only takes a tenth of a second to form a first impression about someone. Websites are no different. Almost immediately, a user will form an opinion of a site, which in turn will determine whether he or she stays or leaves.

Having a functional website can be the difference between success and falling flat on your face. So what can you do to ensure your website is firing on all cylinders? Give the following tips a try:

1 – What is your purpose? What do you want your site to do for you? Many sites are too broad and lack focus, it’s important to add and maintain content that stays true to your goals.

2 – It’s no secret that a user’s attention span gets shorter by the day. In order to take advantage of those precious seconds, grab your reader’s attention with the most important information. The name of the game isn’t to make your site bright and shiny, but to place emphasis properly in order to achieve your goal.

3 – Create valuable information! If your content is outdated, poorly edited or incomplete, readers will feel cheated and most likely look for a different source the next time they search the topic.

4 – Mobile, Mobile, Mobile! Is your website responsive? If not, you run the risk of losing your reader, instantly. As mobile internet usage continues to increase, it becomes more important to make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Not only is a responsive design conducive to a great user experience, but Google loves it! It will also help save money on future development since there will only be one framework for multiple devices. As tablets and smartphones continue to root themselves into the fabric of daily lives, a responsive design is an absolute must.

5 – Avoid clutter.  Your reader needs some space. Images and animation are great, if used appropriately. To keep readers on your site, keep navigation simple.  Avoid elements that compete for attention, and always draw the reader’s eye to the information they need most.

6 – There are millions of websites out there…how will my audience find me? Most website traffic comes from a search engine. This is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is so important. SEO is a series of techniques that helps the visibility of your website. Double check that your content matches your purpose and don’t forget about meta data!

7 – Don’t settle for a good website…strive for greatness! Creating and maintaining a great website is a big responsibility; give it the time it deserves.