Seven seconds to make an impression online

A stop watch close up

Did you know it takes seven seconds to make an impression on people?

The same can be said for a website. In that very short amount of time, the look and feel of the site and the message you have to offer needs to really count. It can mean the difference between getting a sale and losing one.

There are many things in that short amount of time that you can do to dramatically improve that impression so here’s 5 tips on how to improve your website’s impression on new visitors

Get rid of outdated social media logos

Social media sites have changed over the years and with it so have their logos. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, in particular, all have newer logos in the last decade. Not keeping up with the times with the logos may seem harmless if you are updating every other part of your site, but in those seven seconds, those old logos can make it seem like the site hasn’t been updated or appear amateurish. If you want to be taken seriously, update your logos.

Change your font

There are some fonts that really make a website shine, and there are some that just shouldn’t be used. Just like logos, fonts can fall out of favor too, what was hot ten years ago may not be so hot today. There is also font matching to consider.

Many successful designs will often have one font for larger headings and a different kind of font for body text that compliments each other quite well. It also makes it really easy on the eyes for the viewer to work out what from what.

Having volume upon volume of text with no sense of space to breathe between paragraphs or topics can make it subconsciously difficult for the viewer to want to persist reading.

The website doesn’t look good on mobile devices or tablets

This is a big one. There are now well over 50% of users surfing the internet on their mobile phone and that means having a website that dynamically and proportionally fits a mobile phone device is extremely important. A website that can’t do that looks terrible and all manner of horrible things can go wrong.

Half the entire webpage might be cut off-screen, the text might be way too small for them to read, it may be impossible for the user to navigate around your site. Effectively you’ve lost them and they move on away from your website.

On top of all this, Google now favors websites that are optimized for mobile phone users and it’s one of the first things they’ll look for when deciding whether or not to rank your page in search results higher to page one or not.

In a nutshell, make sure your website is responsive enough that it will resize and refit correctly on all devices, mobile phones, and tablets, not just desktops.

Images are stretched, pixelated or otherwise of poor quality

Images can make a design really come alive and when presented correctly looks great. If your website isn’t programmed to style and fit images correctly, or you have uploaded an image too big or too small, it can have really awful results.

Some images may be forced to stretch if they are too small or not the right dimensions, while others may be too big and if your website isn’t programmed with the right styling, it might force the rest of your content out of the way or break the flow of the content altogether. Always make sure the images used are the right proportions or that your website is programmed to style and fit the image correctly. And always ensure the image you are using is of good quality.

The website takes forever to load or feels sluggish to scroll and navigate

A good website is one that loads relatively fast (and yes we are talking down to the milliseconds here) and feels very smooth. There are no jarring transitions or pauses, scrolling through the site feels like you’re gliding on ice.

A slow website can be the kiss of death for a business owner because a user isn’t going to wait around very long. There could be any number of reasons why a website is slow and it isn’t always going to be because you or the user has a slow internet connection.

The website might have a bunch of programming code not packaged correctly, leading it to load programming code that doesn’t need to be used at that exact point in time, it could be because your site is trying to load photos whose file sizes are way too big. WordPress websites, in particular, are notorious for being slow if they have too many plugins installed.

Google also tends to favor websites with much faster loading times when it comes to determining which websites show up sooner than others in search results.

A good web developer can look at things like this and make changes to refactor or upgrade the website entirely to make things run faster.