It is often said in life that first impressions are everything. Whether we judge a person based on their appearance or by what they drive, or we judge a business based on their store or office location; when it comes to your website’s appearance – it goes without saying that a first impression really is everything.

Consider that 86 percent of consumers will visit your website before doing business with you and you begin to see just how important having a positive first impression really is to growing your business and ultimately increasing your bottom lines.

Now also consider that most websites only convert about 1 percent of their website traffic to actual leads let alone converting them into paying customers. It goes without saying no matter how much traffic you have, a prime focus needs to be paid to ensure you leave as many visitors as possible with a great first impression. When they leave a site without taking action, 99 percent of the time they will never come back. Opportunity lost forever.

You might be asking, “How do you make a great first impression?” Or just as important, “What are some easy ways to convert more visitors into customers?”

Here are three action items to consider as you look to increase your leads and sales from your website.

1) You must answer two basic questions, and optimally they should be answered within the first few seconds of the future customer clicking onto your website

•  What can I buy, do or get here?

•  Why should I buy, do or get it from you instead of your competition?

Since your competition is a mere click away, it is paramount to grab a website visitor’s attention right away. Search engine results dictate that if a visitor does not see what they are looking for or find a compelling reason to stay on your website they are simply going to click the back button in their browser and go down to the to the next listing. Your unique value should be jumping off the page to your website visitors.

2) The website should not look outdated

A website that does not fully fill the screen, or is left justified for example, can give a visitor the impression that your site is outdated. This will inevitably leave many visitors wondering, “If you don’t have an updated website, your business has in some way fallen behind the times.” This will ensure your website will never be your best sales tool.

Some other features of outdated websites include:

  • Small font sizes
  • Lack of social media integration
  • Too much text
  • Lack of supportive imagery, graphics or video
  • Inconsistent navigation between your different web pages

3) Lack of conversion triggers

Conversion triggers can take on many shapes and forms. As a part of your website general layout attention should be made to place these triggers in prominent places on your website.

Some examples include:

  • Phone number: Big, bold, and above the fold (preferably in the upper right hand corner of your homepage)
  • Request a Quote form or button
  • Downloadable content (e.g. guides, tip sheets, or white papers)
  • Newsletter sign-up forms
  • Social media icons
  • Buy now buttons

There is a rule of thumb when it comes to website conversion and that is, “Don’t make me think.” If you want me to go to your website and perform a specific function, then make it absolutely obvious. So many times companies think they need to tell every detail about their company and ALL of the things they do. This type of content can be reserved for the about page, but should not be the focal point of your home page. You want them to do something on your website, so make sure that is obvious.

By utilizing some of these ideas you will be able to increase your website conversion, leave a stronger impression on future customers and make better use of the website visitors that you have.