In less than five seconds, visitors to your website decide whether or not the site is worth their time. Fail the blink test and you could miss out on revenue, client conversion and investors when the viewer clicks the back button. Pass the test and you’re assured at least the potential for leads and ROI.
How can you help your website pass the test if you aren’t a designer yourself? Simple: Learn about the criteria that make for a successful site, then evaluate your site as if seeing it for the first time.
This is absolutely crucial. Web veterans remember time spent waiting for Flash-intensive or graphics-heavy websites to load. The anticipation of seeing a new site is quickly replaced by boredom — and if the website had welcome music, God help you, you were out of there. Having a generous hosting plan and reliable Web host is absolutely critical here. Your design and development team can make all the optimization needed for a fast site, but if your host is slow, your site will never load fast.
Good design is easy to take in and intuitive. From colors and fonts to graphics and animations, this is how you present your brand to the world. Everything on your website should connect to your brand. Apple does a great job here: The sleek colors and clean interface reflect the brand’s products, and each thing on the site is brand-centric. Include responsive design elements that make your site mobile friendly.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on a website, will you use the site’s search function or assume the site doesn’t have the information you need and go elsewhere? Either choice is likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth regarding the company or brand that didn’t organize information intuitively. From your navigation word choice to the colors and styling of fonts, this is where it really matters. Card sorting and usability testing can show you what’s working and, more critically, what isn’t before you launch a website with flawed navigation.
A smart headline grabs a user’s attention within the first five seconds and can convince a user that you have what he needs. Don’t waste space with empty words; every word on the page should communicate your message. Consumable content goes along with this: By speaking in user-centric terms and matching your tone and content to your target personas, you help ensure your message hits home.
Images can bring your product or brand to life. Generic images may look pretty but ultimately mean nothing. Choose images that present the real people in your company and the real products you sell.
Always present your credentials, since anyone can create a website. This establishes brand trust and information leadership.
If you don’t include a call to action, you won’t get the ROI you seek — it’s that simple. Place your CTA above the fold and clearly communicate what users can expect by committing, which can help you convert clients.
Give every Web page the blink test before you go live. Correct any areas that don’t pass muster to increase your conversion rates and return on investment.
About the author
Dawn Altnam lives and works in the Midwest, and she enjoys following the business tech world, especially online marketing and web hosting. After furthering her education, she has spent some time researching her interests and blogging of her discoveries often.
Above image source: Flickr/Think Blink