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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that modern readers have a short attention span. A simple push of the finger can have them on to the next web page and happily sifting through pictures of unlikely animal friendships.

Essentially, visitors get to vote on a website with their mouse button and let designers know within a fraction of a second whether they have done a good job of capturing the audience’s attention.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression and when it comes to website design, that first impression determines whether sites are able to convert a visitor into a customer.


How to Make Sure Visitors Stick Around

Design is almost exclusively responsible for making a good impression and encouraging readers to linger and click around. It is such a strong component that readers would actually rather look at a visually appealing site than visit one that features a more user-friendly design. So how can sites ensure that they are connecting with their readers and increasing conversions?


Get to Know the Target Audience

This should seem obvious, but it is a step that often gets skipped over. Take the time to create an extensive profile of your customer persona. By having a clear vision of a site’s visitors, designers can tailor the smallest details to attract a reader and ensure they stay on site. Without a clear audience profile, every site would have the same ideal visitor: people who want to spend a lot of money.


Don’t Overdo It

Well intended efforts to visually appeal to visitors can swing too far one way, which can overstimulate your viewer. To make a good first impression, you must direct the reader’s eye around the site with strategic focal points. Pay close attention to the area above the fold and place key elements, like a search bar, contact page, and navigation menus in accessible locations.


Add Some Personality

Every design decision contributes to the overall feel and personality that readers will associate with a company. Is the site more somber and serious like Merril Lynch, which is trying to convey notions of wealth, power, and trust? Or is it taking a more lighthearted approach and trying to add some levity to an arduous task, like buy car insurance. In these scenarios, the brands’ cartoon gecko and stoic bull convey messages, and important ones, to consumers.


Make Sure Your Design Elements & Words Align Perfectly

Readers will instantly notice any disparity between visual aspects and words on the page. No one wants to purchase “high quality” products that are displayed as distorted, low quality images that are poorly organized. Readers will immediately notice the apparent lack of quality and leave your site.

The key to converting a first impression into a sale is to make conscious design choices that reflect the brand properly, carefully convey specific messages, and address the needs of your target audience. For more specific advice, consult with New Perspective and put your best foot forward online.