"Honey, stop the car! Back up. I think we’ve found it. . . our dream home!”
Does this sound familiar? If it does, you can probably remember the reason you stopped. There was just something different about that house - something that caught your eye, something visually appealing that made you want to get out of the car and take a look inside. It’s curb appeal!
Leading real estate experts agree that without curb appeal, the odds that your home will sell for its asking price drastically decrease. The old adage "first impressions mean everything" really is true.
The same holds true for your Web site. Albeit unfairly, many organizations are judged based solely on their Web presence. You may have the most profound thing to say, the highest quality product to sell, or the finest education in the land to offer, but none of it matters if your Web site is not appealing to visitors.
First-time visitors to your Web site will choose to continue surfing your site within three seconds or so, not unlike outdoor advertising where marketers have three seconds to introduce and sell you on a specific product or brand. You can have all the fancy gadgets, you can use catchy technological phrases like RSS feeds or blogs, but the simple fact is if your Web site is not professional and visually appealing, in most cases, none of it matters.
If during those first few seconds your Web site is found to be visually appealing and inviting, Eureka! You have made a good initial first impression, which is tantamount to walking into a well-appointed and clean department store with a spotless bathroom. And we all love that, right?
Now it’s on to the second stage of the visitors experience - content.
Visitors to your Web site want to be informed. They have visited your site for one of two reasons:
1) They were referred to you by someone they know, or have heard about you and want to learn more.
2) They happened upon your Web site while conducting a general search.
Now that you’ve built it, and they have come, what next? My advice to you would be to keep it fresh and to keep it real. For obvious reasons, Web sites that become stagnant over time with little to no change in content or graphics become less appealing, and visitors have less reason to frequent your site.
On the contrary, Web sites that take advantage of tools specifically geared toward updating content and images give visitors something new (and hopefully interesting) to read. The goal should be to provide informative, relevant, and useful information to your visitors, thereby encouraging them to visit again and visit often.
An effective Web site will give your visitors a memorable experience and encourage repeat visitors to the Web site. To learn more about creating effective visual aspects and content for your Web site, call us at 316-263-5878.
VP, Business Development
Nye & Associates