6 Elements Your Website Needs to Display in the First 7 Seconds
Keeping site content up to date is key here, according to Sperling.
3. Moving on to a less quantifiable science, establish an emotional connection with visitors—convey a personality, Sperling says.
He continues: "People need to like your site first (and not necessarily in the Facebook 'Like' sense) if they're going to become your customers. Give them an understanding of what your business is all about in an easily digestible way. The tone could be goofy, sincere, ironic, inspiring … whatever you want it to be and think will spark your target audience's interest."
4. Support proper navigation, Ash says, meaning "During the first few seconds, visitors must be able to get a clear 'map of the world' that allows them to understand the available options and to find the 'information scent' to follow deeper into the site. A few distinct and mutually exclusive choices should be presented on the page."
5. Consider following a tested and true formula. Olinger suggests, "In our experience, the most important homepage features include:
- Brand logo—Distinguished from all other content [and] matches the offline branding;
- 'Hero'—Show consumers the most popular product or content in a prominent position;
- Clearly organized content—Make it easy for consumers to quickly scan the page;
- Simple navigation categories—Clearly identify where each link goes;
- Search—[Put it in a] prominent location, typically in the top right corner;
- 'Featured' [items]—Products or content that are popular for a wide audience; [and]
- [A] message—Clear calls to action."
6. Don't be annoying. Sperling warns that, "There are three simple things that visitors to your website should be able to immediately find (and can't on a surprisingly large number of websites):
- The name of your business;
- What you do; [and]
- How to contact you."