First Impressions

Landing Page First Impressions  Inbound internet marketing denver

When we as owners and marketers have done all that hard work to get visitors to our website, we don’t want to lose them before we can convince them they have come to the right place.

The adage that “first impressions last” takes on a lot more meaning for inbound marketers. After all, in its most basic sense, “inbound” marketing is advertising to an inward-leaning crowd of website traffic in an effort to pull them in and close a sale at some point.

A recent article by Kissmetrics, the “first impression” you make on your visitors needs to have a positive action-inducing impact, or it’ll be the last you’ll ever see of them. Your visitors will hit the back button on their browsers and look elsewhere for what they want or need.

The impact that your site’s “first impression” can literally make or break your inbound marketing flow – so you need to evaluate what your target visitors see in their first few seconds after landing on your website.

Professional Appeal Wins

Everyone knows that a professional-looking website is best, but what is a professional look? Is it clean? Straightforward? Formal? What if you were a children’s entertainer, how should your “professional” website look then?

A clown’s professional website may be an extreme case, but it illustrates that the definition of “professional” leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

Remember that, at its essence, a Website is all about visitor usability and a consistent theme encouraging your visitor to stay and take action. A successful website needs to be built to deliver a great user experience and it needs to be themed properly for its content.

Of course, there are standard no-no’s when it comes to professional websites, including:

  • Distracting elements – Flashy interactive text that blinks or marquees are not only distracting, but they also scream “amateur.” Watch out for distracting ads too.
  • Pop-up ads – Interruption marketing is so 1990s! Of course, there are online interruption and outbound efforts that pay off, but you need subtlety and finesse. For instance, use pop-ups sparingly and only if the ad or promotional material you are push-marketing is relevant to the needs of your audience.
  • Random content – By random, we mean irrelevant or lacking context. If you really need to insert an ad for used cars in a website about kittens, you better have obvious context.

Maximizing the “professional” appeal for inbound marketing means avoiding such pitfalls and demonstrating to your visitors that you can provide a great user experience and effective themes at a glance.

The Potential User Experience

Since we’re talking about the first few seconds after a visitor hits your landing page, let’s refine our point about a great user experience. After all, in the first few seconds, visitors do not have enough time to navigate through your website to see if it does indeed provide a great user experience.

You need to prove at a glance that your website’s potential for a great user experience is there. Some facets of web design and content that can “promise” a great user experience include:

  • Website navigation – A comprehensive (but not exhaustive) list of the most important or popular parts of your website.
  • “Scanable” content – Very few people can read fast enough to assess the quality of your website’s content in a few seconds. So use “scanable” content.  This includes highlighted titles, headings, and bold formatted text.  Also, use numerals, bulleted items, and well-spaced, shorter sentences whenever appropriate.
  • Images and other visuals – Always use quality images and other visuals that complement or support your message.  Don’t make your visitor guess about the relevance of an image to your topic.

Bottom line:

Inbound marketing relies greatly on “first impressions” – so make an impact!