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Ok...Pop Quiz:  What is the correct time it takes the average Web site visitor to develop a first impression of a website?

A) 2 seconds
  B) 6 seconds
  C) 300 milliseconds

Well, according to a recent research study by the Missouri University School of Science and Technology, the answer is (drum roll)....

C: 300 milliseconds.


If your website’s functionality and design fall flat, a visitor will bounce FAST (which takes about 400 milliseconds, by the way ;-).

How can you ensure your company’s website passes the first impression test?  What makes an effective website?  Make sure it follows the five key components of effective development and design.

One: Develop it with users in mind

A user-friendly website will:

Two: Make it memorable

Memorable Web sites include:

Three: Set yourself apart from the competition

What do your competitors’ sites look like?  What kind of functionality do they offer? What sort of content and imagery do they have?  What can you do differently or better?

While the answers to those questions shouldn’t direct your site’s design and content, they are important to keep in mind.  Your site should tell your company’s unique story:  who you are, what you do, where you are located and all of the other elements that make up your unique brand.  Balancing that against your competition will help you appropriately position your company.

Four: Make it visible

Ever drive by an amazing billboard while off-roading in the desert?  No?  There is a reason for that.  Even the best-designed sites are worthless if they’re hidden in some deserted corner of the Web.  Make sure your website is optimized so search engines — and prospective clients — can find it.  But understand this:  While search engine optimization (SEO) has tremendous upsides, it needs to be done correctly.  Check out our SEO Best Practices page or our Blog article "Search Engine Tips to Increase Visibility for Your Sonoma County Business" for more information.

Five: Make it work for your unique goals

Form follows function when it comes to Web development and design.

Top producing websites:

If you follow these five key components, you will be sure to make a powerful, lasting first impression — and dramatically boost your chances of converting visitors into customers and clients.

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To learn more about how Petaluma, CA based Buchanan Web Marketing can help with website development, SEO, & design solutions, SUBSCRIBE to this blog and start by requesting a FREE website audit today!