If your website had to go to a job interview, what sort of first impression would it make? Just as first impressions matter when searching for a job, they arguably matter even more when it’s your website. If you don’t hook your audience in the first few seconds, you could lose an opportunity that may not reappear.
While you may be sitting at home in your pajamas where no one can see you, your website is visible to everyone with internet access, anywhere in the world. There is no question that the first impression it makes has to be instantaneous and excellent at the same time.
There are 5 ways to ensure that your website gets the kind of attention you want it to get as soon as a prospect lands on your home page.
- Your website design must have a clean, polished, professional, and vibrant appearance. It cannot look as though it was designed by your nephew, buzzed on caffeine at 3 a.m. No long-loading splash pages, no animated gifs, no clunky frames. Rather, just as you should be dressed professionally for a job interview, your website should greet new visitors with uncluttered design, transparent navigation features, and rich content areas.
- Your website must be organized up front and behind the scenes. You wouldn’t crack open your briefcase in a job interview and let a pile of disheveled papers fall to the carpet, so don’t let your website become a disorganized disaster either. Keep like files together — images in one place, audio files in another, and documents in another. Use consistent naming conventions. Make content easy for you and your customers to find. Think streamlined.
- Your website content — the writing on your pages — has to be reader friendly. When you’re talking about your products and services face-to-face with someone, you make an articulate, clear, and organized delivery. The job interview candidate who answers questions without saying “um” or “ah,” who addresses questions directly and in an organized fashion, will make a great impression. The writing on your website must be the same: clear, organized, concise, and simple.
- Your website needs to include a call-to-action, something to convince your audience members to opt-in, to investigate further, to download, to buy.
- Your website needs to make it easy for prospects to contact you. Links to your contact information should be included in the footer of every page. The job interviewee who neglects to put her contact information on her resume might as well be invisible. The same is true for your website!
When it comes to your website, your first impression should be among your first priorities.