Show up dressed to a network meeting in shorts and sandals and you just might lose prospective clients. You knew that, right? Something you might not know… A study published in 2006 conducted by Princeton psychologists revealed that it takes only a tenth of a second to form a first impression.
Another presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in 2014 tells us we are not good at changing our opinions once formed. This can help to explain why, from a young age, we learn to follow basic rules of etiquette when meeting new people. It is all about making people like us within that first tenth of a second.
Ever since Emily Post was a thing, and even before then, there have been rules to help us appear attractive to others. We have hundreds of years of knowledge about polite behavior to draw on to create that great first impression when meeting someone face to face. But today, a good chunk of business takes place online. Ever measured what kind of impression your online presence is making?
What does your website say about you and your business? Here are three points to measure your website against. Along with some tips that will have your business be ready to meet one and all.
- Speed matters.
By some lucky stroke of fate, a prospective client sees your website URL and clicks on it. And waits… and waits… and leaves. How often have you abandoned a site for taking too long to load? According to KISSmetrics, loading time is one of the leading factors for abandoning a website.
How fast should it load? Akamai Technologies, Inc. says 2 seconds, based on a study they did in 2009. Chances are high that since this study, we have only become more impatient not less.
Is your site within an acceptable load speed range? Pingdom has a tool that allows you to measure website speed and provides a diagnostic test along with its test results.
The takeaway here is: No matter how much money you have spent on getting your site up, if it takes too long to load, you have an ineffective website.
- Looks matter.
Remember that study we mentioned earlier? Not yet convinced about how fickle we are about how things should look? Ask yourself if you would buy from (A) a sleek, effective website, or (B) a website using Comic Sans font in many different sizes. That flashes. On a patterned background. Not so much.
We like to say that looks don’t matter when it comes to telling preteens how to pick their friends. “Personality is what counts,” we say. But when it comes to websites, abandon that logic. The design of your website translates into its personality. No design (or poor design) = no personality = no attraction = no upswing in business.
“But my kid’s best friend is a website genius! He designed this for me…” If your website has not obtained the results you want, consider hiring someone who does this as their life’s work. Nothing beats professionals who know their business.
- Words matter.
Ever been to a website and the next thing you knew you were signing up for their service? Guess what caused that? Persuasive words. Words that sold you on the product or service the site was about. Your buy might have appeared impulsive to you, but not so. Rather, it was a careful marketing strategy by someone who knew how to use words to their fullest advantage.
Another way in which words matter is SEO. For example, say you have a business and you want SEO that will help locals in Dallas, TX find you. Hiring a team that understands SEO and web design will take you to that next level.
Give your website and your business the greatest chance for success by adding persuasive copy, enhanced by SEO. If you can’t do it yourself, hire someone who understands where you want to take your business. A good one is worth their weight in gold.
Online presence matters. Do not show up poorly dressed.