You have probably wondered many times how to impress and keep new visitors on your site. While there is no single – or simple – answer to this, here are some psychological tricks you can use to enhance the first impression users get on your website:
Put colors and fonts to good use
Colors and fonts are the first things that someone will notice about your website. Just think about it – as you enter a website, the first thing you see are colors. Then slowly, you start to observe the fonts. You can already make out what kind of a website this is.
A pinkish color palette with an elegant font will likely be dedicated to a female audience, fashion or beauty. A bluish color palette with a formal font signal that the site will somewhat revolve around finance. Green palette makes you think of the environment.
See how colors and fonts have an instant impact on our mind?
But it goes even deeper than that.
“Colors and fonts appeal to your emotions as well. For instance, yellow might make you happy and think of sunny days and summer. Red and green make you think of holidays and presents and so on,” says Hubert Amos, a UX manager at 1Day2Write and Britstudent.
Match your color palette and fonts with your brand image and industry. You can use elegant script fonts for titles and subtitles but use print serif or sans serif on the body of content because it’s readable that way.
Still, use colors wisely. For instance, don’t contrast the colors recklessly.
Blue and yellow might look good in combination as accents but definitely not when the background is blue and letters are yellow or vice versa. Backgrounds are usually best left in neutral tones – white, beige, light gray or very light pink, never too bold for readability and light enough so that letters can remain black and not straining on the eyes.
Next, think about using various tones of the same color – like a light purple with dark, magnetic purple. Stay up to date on color trends – for instance, the online world prefers relaxing, neutral colors with a few bold accents.
Test your design – the same color might not work the same for all sites. The same goes for CTAs.
Use powerful imagery
Many websites leverage powerful images to make a good first impression. High-quality images of beautiful places or things can attract users instantly and improve engagement on social media.
For instance, if you have a travel-related website, how about placing a few images from great destinations on your homepage. New York, Paris, India, Bali, Italy and so on can really make your site appealing and trigger that sense of adventure and desire for that experience. A food-related website could place images of food, an art-related website images of great art and so on. There are always good opportunities to add images.
This is another way to give your visitors an instant clue as to what your website is all about.
Reduce the number of options
While giving your visitors a ton of categories and options to choose from might initially seem like a great idea, in reality, too many choices can result in no conversions. Even research backs this point and you should definitely use what you learn from in on your website.
Remove excess categories. For example, if you have a food blog, don’t put pastries, cookies, drinks, chocolate sweets, sweets for children, healthy snacks, fish meals, pork meals and so on – there are a lot of categories here – on your homepage as options.
Make it concise – desserts, main meals, and drinks, those should be your categories. This way your website is more focused, less all-over-the-place and your users will still find what they need.
Another thing you should consider is putting one CTA per page. No multiple requests for a single page. Your users will make a decision with ease this way. If you are selling products and services, you should also reduce the number of options.
Here is the psychology behind it – if the users feel like they could miss out if they buy one product over the other, they’ll feel like they might miss out on something and not buy at all.
“A good way to make a bad first impression is by having a busy home page. Sure, you have all these sidebars and footers waiting for you to place something there. But should you? Ads, widgets, images, banners and so on are not really helpful to your users and they only ruin the overall image of your site,” says Rick Benjamin, a webmaster at WriteMYX and Australia2write.
Leave plenty of white space for your readers to rest their eyes and stay focused on what really matters – the product, the content or the CTA.
Make the navigation familiar
Finally, play on familiarity. Maybe you have an out-of-the-box design idea that you want to apply to your website. But again, should you? People love novelty but they also like to feel at home. Make the navigation simple and familiar. Everyone should be able to find what they need – otherwise, they might bounce and you lose a potential customer.
The trick to making a great first impression is knowing your audience and how they behave and think. If you do that, then you can employ these tactics and impress your new visitors with great design, functionality, and beauty. Just make sure your loading speed and content don’t suffer for it. Hopefully, these tips will help.
Martha Jameson works as a content editor and proofreader at Academic Brits and OriginWritings. Before she found her calling as a writer, she worked as a web designer and a manager. Martha’s current goal is to help people find their true callings just like she did by sharing her knowledge and writing for various online publications.