The Key Ingredients To Make a Good First Impression With Your Website

Web travelers are fickle.

They visit your site demanding to be entertained, surprised, or educated, and often times never think twice about leaving without sharing what you’re saying or buying what you’re selling.

Of course, the way you respond to this less fortunate truth is your choice.

You can choose to lose faith in web travelers altogether, quit trying to attract them to your site, and come to resent every unique visit Google Analytics reports.

Or, you can choose to believe that these faceless visitors mean no harm, but rather they simply need a few key things from you in order to do what you want them to do.

And when you do choose the latter and give them the benefit of the doubt, here are 5 key things they likely will need from you:


We call it the 3-second-rule in web design. Essentially, it says that if in 3 seconds or less, the visitor can’t answer what the website is and why someone should stay, you will lose them.

Answering WHAT it is can be done in a handful of ways, but none better than a CLEAR (not creative) headline. BMW does a fantastic job of answering this question at moment one. Even for a man stuck in a cave his entire life who has never heard of BMW, there is absolutely no question what BMW does.


Answering WHY they should care enough to stick around is all about creating an emotional connection and making an invitation. No one does this better than TOMS SHOES and their One for One campaign.



No one wants to have to go to class to learn how to navigate your website. And perhaps the easiest way to put training wheels on your site is to simplify your menu.

Don’t get creative when it comes to navigational menus or page titles. Be boring. Be predictable. Be clear. And save your creative genius for wowing them on the actual page your menu is leading them to.

If you don’t believe me, you may want to take notes from the king of innovation themselves (Notice the simplicity of their header menu):



As with any form of hospitality, you never want to make your guests wait.

Test your site speed with Pingdom to see how your site compares to the rest of the sites they’ve tested.

If you’re under 50%, try doing these few things.

  • Compress Images
  • Scale Images
  • Use Browser Caching

For more tips, check out these tips. 


You’re at a new local coffee shop. Just the smell of the beans as they are being brewed makes you want to try one of everything on the hanging chalkboard menu, but as you read you’re met with a sobering moment.


This shop could have the best coffee in the world, but in this moment, you’re not about to spend a dime. When the maker of the coffee apparently didn’t finish third grade english and shows no sign of expertise, it doesn’t matter how great the product may smell, you’re probably going to be a bit less excited about buying.

The same goes for every word you use on your website.

Write copy that’s enjoyable, readable, invitational, and shows signs of offering some level of expertise.

A good example of great copywriting comes from BuyRal.


Notice how clear and simple their message is?


The statistics say that more than 36% of all of your visitors will be on a mobile device. I’d say 36 out of every 100 guests deserve a little consideration.

And in case you don’t know the difference between a good and a bad mobile experience, see this.

I know it may be easier to think hospitably when having friends over for a game or meal. However, don’t miss the importance of first impressions and hospitality online.

Why? Because you give a guest what they want and they will give you want you want — be it comments, shares, or purchases.


Want to make a lasting first impression?

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