Websites With WOW Factor

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We’re all familiar with the saying “First impressions count.” It’s the concept that within a few seconds of being introduced to a person, environment or object that we’ve subconsciously made a judgement as to whether we like or dislike this new thing.

“It takes just one-tenth of a second for people to judge someone and make a first impression.” – Wikipedia

This judgement process applies to websites too and does not happen consciously. It’s influenced by a person’s perspective, their personal tastes, past experiences and so on. 

Making Your Website A Match

“People have expectations of what a website should look like. Diverting from those is a risk, no matter how imaginative or striking the design.”

This is why so many websites look to have a very similar layout, menu structure and feel. Starting with images… consumers have an expectation of the kind and quality of images depending on the industry. As you expect to see photos of happy smiling people with straight white teeth on a dentists’ website and nice looking cars on a mechanics’, trying to be too different can backfire when it comes to making a WOW-worthy first impression.

This is why, if our client cannot supply their own good-quality photos, we source professional stock imagery to make a better first impression. The quality and context of these initial images sends a message to your prospect including what price point you sit at, service/product quality and the level of customer service they can expect from you.

The same applies to colours, fonts and layouts. Depending on what industry you’re in can indicate what colours, fonts and website layout would be the most appropriate (i.e. expected), based on your target audience.

That New But Familiar Feeling

At risk of contradicting the point above, consumers (whether they are aware of it or not) desire that “New” feeling but also want to feel safe in selecting someone new to do business with. A sense of familiarity with a dash of freshness! 

Making someone say “WOW” when they first land on your website is most often associated with its design. The combination of your logo, your website menu and that first main hero image / slideshow are of the upmost importance. 

Things to avoid are:

  • Any overly busy design
  • A hidden menu
  • Fancy menu names (be obvious with these)
  • Small and difficult to read font types
  • Too much text
  • Radical template designs that deviate too much from what’s typically expected for websites in your industry
  • Unrelated or overused images

A poor visual website experience can result in a feeling of dislike or even mistrust causing the consumer to leave your site without exploring much else.

Bring Your Uniqueness To The Table

“Almost half of the web visitors believe that design is the top factor supporting a website’s credibility.” – Blue Corona

Where you can introduce that ‘New’ feeling is through featuring what makes your business unique vs everyone else in your field.

What makes you different to others in your industry?
Why does this benefit those who do business with you?
What makes you appear more credible and trustworthy?

Here’s some examples:

  • Friendly Customer Service | Including a photo of serving a delighted customer
  • Top Quality Workmanship | Clean, easy to read fonts with zoomed-in images of your work
  • Attention To Detail | A website that looks really thought out and images that are refined / focus on the detail
  • Experience | A reference to years in the industry and images that instill trust
  • Fun | Think colour, movement and something that will make your prospects smile
This is where a little creative flair is useful and you can inject your personality into your website without alienating your prospects for being “too” different.

Casting A Vision

Have you ever had a customer that just ‘Had’ to work with you? They almost fall over themselves to do business with you, regardless how much you charge and how long you’ll take. This kind of engagement can start with your website’s first impression.

The approach is a website that appeals to its target audience by reflecting the kind of person they want to become OR the people they envisage themselves being associated with. This concept evokes hope and aspiration, plus positions you and your business as the open door that will help them to achieve this vision for themselves. This explains why there is such a big variation in price between hairdressers, plumbers, mechanics, lawyers and even artists… those who have successfully positioned themselves as the gateway to help someone realise the vision they have for themselves can always charge more and they typically attract more aligned customers.

The Bottom Line

When designing / redesigning your website, be mindful of the expectations associated with your industry balanced with an injection of your personality. This will help you have both a familiar but new feeling website that is more likely to have your future customers saying WOW!

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