Have you ever noticed that, when you browse the web, some sites make you feel instantly at ease, while others immediately put you off from wanting to visit them again?
It’s almost as if we get an instinctive response to certain sites that make them appealing to us, while others have a way of instantly making us want to hit the back button and browse elsewhere.
This response isn’t as subconscious as you may initially imagine.
While it’s true that everyone has different preferences, which makes us unique and diverse when it comes to likes and dislikes, there are also a few rules to site construction and maintenance that make it much easier to appeal to customers who come along and browse our site. This is great news for online business owners, as having a few key rules for kindling a positive feeling in visitors is one of the first steps in promoting your products and services online, through an appealing and inviting site.
So, let’s look at the basics when it comes to igniting a spark of interest in visitors to your site, and see what we can do to make sure those visitors return again and again, preferably making purchases.
These basic rules are founded in a combination of psychology, common sense and online etiquette…
Keep It Clean
When we talk about a ‘clean’ space online, we aren’t referring to the use of profanities or exclusion of distasteful content, but rather the use of space on your site. When someone first arrives to visit your page, they want to get a positive impression of both you and your services. The first rule of thumb in achieving this is to make sure you have plenty of white space to let your messages sink in clearly, without your visitors having to struggle through a mass of moving images, vying colours or reams of text. Keep your homepage clean, and your visitors will be able to gain a positive first impression, inviting them in to browse further.
Keep It Neutral
Have you ever noticed how some sites make you feel claustrophobic or unsettled? Often, these sites feature dark brooding backgrounds with dark text, making them difficult to decipher for people passing through. Often, visitors won’t spend the time necessary in one place online to get a feel for the site, so this technique is both off-putting and fatal for your business. Keep to a light background and clear text to make sure your instant impression is a good one.
Keep It Plain
Nothing unsettles a visitor more than being besieged by too much content all at once. We browse the internet with a limited attention span, expecting to get the information we need swiftly. If this doesn’t happen, we know from experience that we can immediately go elsewhere to get what we need. Don’t let your site be the one that people turn away from, because you’ve flooded it with too much detail and deterred your impatient potential customers.
Keep It Clear
When we browse a site, we expect to make just one or two clicks to get to the information we are looking for. If information is buried more deeply in a site than this, people simply won’t spend the time to hunt it out. Keep to the three-click rule – can your customers get to exactly what they need in three clicks or less? If not, it’s time to re-think your strategy online.
That positive feeling you get when you visit certain sites is a combination of things, all working together to make you have a strong preference for some sites, and turn away from others.
By maintaining a site well, keeping information clean, clear and easy to access, and simplifying your site to make it optimize functionality while maintaining a great look, you’ll maximize your chances of attracting customers who respond well to your online space, and choose to return again and again.
What do you do to ignite your visitors?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.