A great first impression is always a challenging goal and may well be the most important factor in the success of any small business. These days, that first impression is your website. It is the most important tool you have for attracting and keeping customers and clients. Sadly, too many small businesses just don’t give their websites the attention they deserve. It may be time to closely examine the effectiveness of your website and it may, too, be time for a complete overhaul. In some recently published research from Financesonline, it may become clear that it just might be time for a new first impression. The following comes directly from that published report:
- If a website doesn’t load within three seconds, 40% of users will abandon it (SocialMediaToday). Another study revealed that only 11.5% of website visitors are willing to wait for a page to load if it takes more than 13 seconds (Unbounce). And that’s not all. People form an opinion of your website (and by extension, your business) in 50 milliseconds (WebsiteBuilderExpert).
- Strategic use of white space on your website serves as a breather, which is useful in single-page, dynamically scrolling layouts. It also improves readability, which is highly useful when you need to impart information to an audience quickly. Breaking up a text-heavy page with a profusion of spaces keeps the reader from being tired out by long strings of letters.
- In 2009, a study (Alsudani & Casey, 2009) found that consumers judge a website’s credibility in as little as 3.4 seconds when the home page loads. Technology has rapidly advanced since, so now all it takes is a mere 50 milliseconds for people to form an opinion of a portal (WebsiteBuilderExpert). And once that opinion is formed, 38% of visitors will leave should they find the design unappealing (99 Firms). Clearly, design and loading speeds can make or break your website’s appeal.
- Dwell time—the metric that measures how long a user spends on your website based on a search—is one of the important factors in any website. You usually improve dwell time by making the site load faster, putting relevant information at the user’s fingertips, and making navigation pain-free. Smart video, on the other hand, leverages video marketing principles to pique the user’s interest. Visitors spend 88% more time on websites with videos (Home Business), especially catchy ones. Like micro-animations, however, length is one of the biggest constraints here. Videos should be no longer than two minutes, with the highest engagement in the first 30 seconds of the clip (Vidyard).
- Color theory plays a big role in making a website feel more emotional. Designers can use the color wheel that corresponds to certain emotions. Using colors to highlight emotions had become more critical than ever. After all, 90% of opinions formed on a website are based on its color scheme (Quicksprout).
- During the latter half of this year and in the coming years, we will see more chatbots replace customer support, especially in social media. Technical support, where highly complex problems require human intervention at present, is not far behind. We’re on a trend where we’ll see chatbots handling 85% of human interaction with businesses. (Smallbizgenius).
-Written by Kevin Sawyer