I judge books by their cover.
There, I’ve said what everyone else is thinking.
I’ve spent many hours staring at the walls of bookstores looking at covers, waiting for one to catch my eye. My biggest pet hate is when there are too many books to display front on and you only get to see the spine; it takes me that much longer to choose one because I have to keep picking the stupid things up.
As a designer, a book’s cover is one of the most important pieces of the ‘buy me’ puzzle and, I find I surf the web the same way I pick books. If I land on a website’s homepage that is outdated, doesn’t load quick enough (or at all), has a hidden menu button, shows me cheesy stock images from the early 90’s, uses a terrible colour scheme, doesn’t work on my phone or is just awful to look at I will instantly punch that little arrow at the top (or bottom) left of my browser and remove the site from my list of potential whatevers.
The ‘face’ of your brand can be many different things. It could be your receptionist, your storefront, your packaging or it could very well be your website. If my first interaction with your website is one that leaves me thinking ‘holy moly, what rock have these guys been living under!?’ then I will associate that negativity with your services and business as a whole. And trust me, I’m not the only one.
Websites provide one of the best touch points between you and your customers, to interact with, to communicate to and to sell your goods and services through. If your website is the face of your business then make it look as if it’s going to its best friend’s wedding to catch the bouquet and find their soul mate. Your website has approximately 8 seconds to impress your potential customers enough to make them want to come over and say Hi. While 8 seconds may seem like a long time it’s about enough to look at one short sentence of text and one image. Think of it as your elevator pitch on the internet. If users can’t find what they are looking for within another 10 seconds they will most likely leave your website and find a competitor that tells them what they want to know, now.
Users will spend the most time on your homepage getting to know you, so it is important that you have the right information on that page to sell: your business, your values and your brand. Mostly, this involves visually showing people what you do, getting people to read about what you do and getting other people to tell them how good you are at it. Credibility is what you want to show the most of, whether that comes in the form of awards, testimonials, before and afters… whatever will sell your story in the best light and in a way that your customers will connect with. I’m not saying stock your homepage with every gold star you’ve ever received, but humbly telling people relevant pieces of information that back up how good you are at what you do will give them the confidence to trust you. And you never know, that trust may lead to a new relationship.
Think your website could be one of those covers that no one picks up because it doesn’t stand out? Fill in your details and we will send you our freebie checklist so you can see for yourself. It will either have you acting like a proud grade 5-er earning another gold star or an Engineer who walked in on a Fashion Design lecture. You can also get Google to test your site. Yes, that’s right, Google is slowly taking over our lives and here is one more way they are giving you the best advice for free.
If you’re leaning towards the Engineer in a Fashion Show, stress less – that’s what we are here for. Give us a call to see how we can rocket your site to top of the class.