Mastering First Impressions: Tools & Tips to Optimize Your Web Design for Maximum Engagement
Over the course of your life, you’ve probably heard that “first impressions are everything” and “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” These aphorisms don’t just apply to meeting new people, though. Every time someone new goes to your company website for the first time, it’s your opportunity to make a positive first impression.
You have just a few seconds to convince someone that they should learn more about your business, the services you offer and the products you sell.
Capturing visitors’ attention and making a positive first impression requires an engaging website design.
The Importance of Web Design
Your website’s design is the first impression you give potential customers. It’s how people get information and where they contact you for your services. It can also be the driving force that pushes potential customers away if they can’t find what they’re looking for.
Tools to Help Improve Web Design
Your website may have been perfectly designed at one time, but things change from styles to effective strategies to the things your website must have. For that, it’s important to revisit the design every few years to make changes. (Learn more about why.)
Just as your website needs to be revisited every few years, regular tweaks should be performed to ensure you’re getting the most out of the traffic that comes to your website – in addition to getting more people to your website in the first place.
But how do you know what changes you should be making?
There are a few different methods and tools you can use to help optimize your web design, helping you identify the best opportunities to improve your website, increase your lead volume and better meet visitors’ needs.
Using A/B Testing
A/B testing is a great way to determine the best website designs and copy. In some ways, A/B testing is like deciding between two outfits to wear to a party. You're not sure which one looks better on you. So, you decide to wear Outfit A to one party and Outfit B to another party on a different day. After both parties, you realize that more people complimented you on Outfit B. Hence, you conclude that Outfit B might be more appealing to more people.
This concept also works with your website. Some programs allow you to show people two different versions of your website to help determine which performs better. You show Version A (like Outfit A) to one group of visitors and Version B (like Outfit B) to another group. You then measure how each group reacts, for example, which version gets more clicks or sign-ups. Based on the results, you can choose the "outfit" or version that works best.
It's a simple way to test changes and see which one is more effective without guessing or assuming.
Things you can test:
- Page layout
- Calls to action
- Email subject lines
- Checkout processes
- Ad copy
A picture is worth a thousand words, and in web design, a heatmap can reveal the narrative of user engagement. Heatmaps will record the actions of site visitors on different webpages, showing you the paths they take, where they are clicking and how far down the webpage they’re going. Stop wondering what users are doing and see it for yourself.
You can find out if users can find the information you want them to and see what’s stopping people from converting.
Making the Right Changes
Once you’ve collected the data from A/B testing, heatmaps and overall website traffic, you’ll be able to learn which parts of your website are working and which pages can be improved.
It’s best to start with the most important pages – your homepage, contact page and key service pages. Ask yourself three simple questions:
- Are people finding this page?
- Are they getting to the information they should be?
- Are they going where I want them to next?
Once you answer these questions, you’ll know what you should change. You’ll want to review information placement, the navigation of your website and the calls to action used on your pages. You can also play around with design elements to see if certain pages, colors or layouts perform better with A/B testing before you commit to a change.
Other Tips for Web Design
While improving your website, there’s much to consider and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If this is a project you want to take on yourself, here are some other tips to consider when improving your website:
- Focus on simplicity
- Use images to provide information
- Incorporate user feedback
Start Enhancing Your Website Today
Take this as your sign to review your website and see what changes you should make. Whether you start with a simple site audit or look into A/B testing tools, you must review your website to see what leads you’re missing out on.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t hesitate to contact the team at 360 PSG. With a consultation, we’ll be able to help you find out which opportunities you’re missing and see how you can get more leads.