What do you do the first time you step into a business? If you’re like most people, you probably look around and get a first impression. Is it clean? Organized? Does it reflect the business’s brand? Do you feel welcome and want to hang around for a while? All these questions and many more cause you to form an opinion of the business—probably within about the first five minutes of stepping inside. If the impression isn’t the right one, you could easily lose customers.

In this day and age, it’s just as likely that a customer’s first impression of your business does not come from your physical location, but your virtual one. Yes, we’re talking about your website. Do you know that 75% of consumers admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website design? Over 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day, and it’s likely that hundreds of potential customers are choosing not to walk through your physical door because they don’t like what they’ve seen online.

Your website is the virtual front door to your business. When your page loads, it’s the same as when a customer first steps inside a physical store. Within the first .05 seconds, they have made a decision on whether or not they feel welcome, whether it’s easy to find what they’re looking for, and if they can easily find someone to talk to. Do you want to ensure you’re making the right impression? Here are some tips!

Improve Your Site’s Navigation

Just as you would not want to create a maze for customers to navigate when they walked through your front doors, you do not want your website to be in any way confusing. Keep your navigation consistent and simple and make it easy for users to return to the home page and get back to the top of the page. You also need to make sure all links are functional (and go to the right places) and that users can easily find what they’re looking for. To test this out, have a friend or or colleague log onto your website and watch over their shoulder as they navigate through it. If they seem to get frustrated or are spending too much time looking for information they want, you know you’ve got some work to do.

Improve Communication

One of the main goals of your site should be to encourage potential clients or customers to reach out to you. 44% of website visitors will leave your site if there is no contact information. Make it easy for them to get in touch by including contact forms or pop-up chatbots as well as a prominent phone number and email address.

Improve Speed

A single second delay in your website loading time can result in a 7% loss in version. In addition to this, 40% of web users abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Speed is incredibly important, and you need to make sure your site loads correctly and quickly. To facilitate speed, avoid large images and files that will slow down load times and frequently test your site for loading speed on both desktop and mobile.

Improve Mobile

75.1 percent of U.S.-based internet users access the web on a mobile device and 48% of users say that if they find a business site that doesn’t work well on mobile, they believe it’s an indication the business doesn’t care about their customers. You simply cannot ignore smart devices and all good web designers know that current websites need to be created mobile-first.

Improve Trust and Credibility

When people are trying to make a decision, they turn to others –especially their peers–for advice. If you have reviews and testimonials on your site, potential customers will be more likely to make a decision to use your products or services. While written testimonials are great, videos are even better! Reach out to your customers to ask for testimonials and consider using review software to easily solicit and display positive reviews of your business.

Putting it All Together

So how do you know if YOUR virtual front door is giving customers the impression you want? One of the best ways to test your site is to conduct an audit. This is a perfect way to make sure you’re not missing something important and to identify ways to tweak your site to make it more appealing. At Pixel Fire Marketing, we offer FREE web audits to anyone who wants to get a better idea of how their website is performing. Not only will we score you on user experience and SEO, but we’ll also take a look at SEO, conversion rates, and overall performance and security. If you have questions about our web audits, please get in touch today so we can tell you more!